Even as the Kremlin prepares to officially annex four regions of Ukraine, the Russian Army continues to be pushed back. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian military saw one of its greatest single-day losses on Monday. Approximately 370 military personnel were reportedly killed, while one fixed-wing aircraft, one anti-aircraft defense system, two multiple-launch rocket systems, and 27 armored combat vehicles (ACVs) were destroyed. In addition, 44 Russian tanks were also destroyed – and while unconfirmed by outside observers – it would be the largest loss of tanks in a single day since the fighting began on February 24.
Though the Ukrainian figures are suspected of being on the high side, Kyiv has reported that Russia has lost around 60,800 personnel to date, while some 2,424 tanks have been lost since the start of the war.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense posted on Facebook that “The enemy suffered the greatest losses [in total] in the Kramatorsk and Bakhmut directions” and added, “Russian enemy suffered the greatest losses of the past day at the Kramatorsk and Kryvyi Rih directions.”
The Kramatorsk and Bakhmut regions are located in eastern Donetsk, while Kryvyi Rih is in the south – and both are among the territory annexed by Russia. Ukraine had first launched its recent counteroffensive in Donetsk and has also launched another counteroffensive in the south. Russian forces have been forced to retreat in both areas.
According to the Associated Press, the Russian forces had abandoned the key Ukrainian city of Lyman so rapidly that they left the bodies of their fallen comrades on the streets. Reporters from the news agency had seen at least 18 bodies of Russian soldiers still on the ground following the fierce battles for control of the town.
Though the Kremlin had suggested that only around 5,000 of its men have been killed, Ukrainian estimates are much higher – claiming that upwards of 60,800 Russian troops have been killed or wounded. Western figures suggest the number is slightly lower, but likely could still exceed 50,000 total battlefield casualties. In July, U.S. officials had estimated that about 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed – and that number has likely increased significantly as the fighting has intensified.
At the start of September, the United Nations also corroborated that more than 5,700 civilians had been killed since the fighting began.
The Ukrainian military has also admitted to significant losses of its own, and in August had said that nearly 9,000 of its personnel have been killed in the war with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky had said in a press conference in the summer that about one million people were defending Ukraine as part of the nation’s armed forces or other services. Yet, even with its counteroffensive underway, few are expecting a swift victory – and both sides may be faced with continued fighting through the coming winter
A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.