The Russian invasion of Ukraine isn’t going well for the Russian forces. On day 220 of the war, the Ukrainian forces liberated Lyman and inflicted a heavy defeat on the Russians just a few hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of territories that include the city.
(Check out the latest Ukraine video from our new 19FortyFive YouTube Channel.)
The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Saturday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 59,610 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 264 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 226 attack and transport helicopters, 2,354 tanks, 1,397 artillery pieces, 4,949 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 336 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,786 vehicles and fuel tanks, 176 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,009 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 War Crimes in Ukraine
The Russian military has an atrocious record of conduct in Ukraine when it comes to war crimes. The Ukrainian counteroffensives have literally unearthed the Russian war crimes in the liberated areas, including mass graves, torture chambers, and rampant raping of women of all ages and even toddlers.
Sadly, the Russian war crimes continue. On Friday, the Russian forces launched a volley of missiles against a humanitarian convoy full of civilians in the vicinity of Zaporizhzhia. More than 25 civilians have been killed and at least the same number wounded, according to Ukrainian officials.
According to the British Military Intelligence, the munition involved was most likely a Russian long-range air defense missile being used in a ground attack role.
“Russia’s stock of such missiles is highly likely limited and is a high-value resource designed to shoot down modern aircraft and incoming missiles, rather than for use against ground targets,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
“On the same day, President Putin signed annexation agreements for Zaporizhzhia and other parts of occupied Ukraine. Russia is expending strategically valuable military assets in attempts to achieve tactical advantage and in the process is killing civilians it now claims are its own citizens,” the British Military Intelligence stated.
New Sanctions, More Support For Ukraine
Soon after Putin finished with his elaborate annexation event, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a statement in response to the illegal annexations of the four Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
“Make no mistake: these actions have no legitimacy. The United States will always honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders,” Biden said in a statement.
“We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of its territory by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically, including through the $1.1 billion in additional security assistance the United States announced this week,” Biden added.
In response to the illegal annexations, the U.S. imposed a new package of sanctions on Russia that will impose costs on individuals and entities that are providing political and economic support to the illegal Russian efforts in Ukraine and that reside both inside and outside Russia.
“We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself, undeterred by Russia’s brazen effort to redraw the borders of its neighbor. And I look forward to signing legislation from Congress that will provide an additional $12 billion to support Ukraine,” Biden added.
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. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.