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The War in Ukraine: Has Putin Already Lost?

Russian T-90M tank. Image Credit: Twitter.

On the 223 day of the war, the Russian military continues to be facing serious troubles in Ukraine as the Ukrainian forces are liberating more and more ground with every passing day.

The Russian Casualties in Ukriane 

The Russian military continues to suffer blow after blow in Ukraine, with heavy losses as a result. The numbers from the Battle of Lyman are starting to surface. In the past 48 hours, the Ukrainian military has claimed to have destroyed or captured 47 tanks, 43 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 27 vehicles of other types, and 13 unmanned aerial systems, among other weapon systems.

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 60,800 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 266 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 228 attack and transport helicopters, 2,424 tanks, 1,407 artillery pieces, 5,018 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 340 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,823 vehicles and fuel tanks, 177 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,028 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 131 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 246 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Russian Conscripts in Ukraine 

A few days after the order to partially mobilize the Russian military’s reserves and call up 300,000 troops, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order for the autumn conscription cycle. This order was part of the annual conscription cycle of the Russian military and will generate approximately 120,000 troops.

The conscription will start in November, a month later than usual, because of the heavy pressure that the Russian military’s logistical systems are under currently because of the partial mobilization of the reserves.

“The challenges of accommodating, training, equipping and deploying mobilised and conscripted personnel are significant. Deficiencies within the Russian administrative and logistical systems will continue to undermine these efforts,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.

However, these are fresh conscripts with no military experience whatsoever, and it will take a considerable amount of time before they are ready for operations.

Moreover, the current legal framework in Russia doesn’t permit conscripts to be deployed outside of Russia (that is why there was a huge uproar when news leaked that conscripts had been part of the initial invasion force).

But whether it is conscripts or mobilized reservists, the Russian military is struggling to provide training and equipment to its troops. Moreover, the Russian military is seriously lacking officers to train the new troops.

Putin and his Kremlin advisers have invested a lot in the partial mobilization of the reserves and the troops it will produce. However, all available evidence suggests that the Russian reserves are severely underprepared for any offensive operations.

Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.