Russia Continues to Face Heavy Losses in Ukraine: In his Sunday address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia was suffering heavy losses in the “fierce” fighting in the eastern Donetsk region, yet warned that the Kremlin would likely respond by launching new attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The War in Ukraine Drags On
“Very fierce Russian attacks on Donetsk region are continuing. The enemy is suffering serious losses there,” Zelensky said during his nightly video address. He also warned that Russia “is concentrating forces and means for a possible repetition of mass attacks on our infrastructure. First of all, energy. In particular, for this, Russia needs Iranian missiles.”
The mention of Iranian missiles came just a day after Tehran had acknowledged for the first time that it had, in fact, sent a limited number of drones to Russia – but claims those weapons had been supplied prior to February’s invasion.
“Some western countries have accused Iran of helping the war in Ukraine by providing drones and missiles to Russia. The part regarding missiles is completely wrong. The part about drones is correct, we did provide a limited number of drones to Russia in the months before the start of the war in Ukraine,” the Islamic Republic’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told reporters on Saturday after the Iranian government had previously denied supplying any weapons to Russia that could be used in Ukraine.
Zelensky had disputed that only a “small number” of drones had been shipped months before the invasion, and claimed that Ukrainian forces had downed at least ten of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) daily in recent weeks. Around 300 of the Iranian drones have been shot down to date, according to officials in Kyiv.
The self-detonating drones have been seen to play a significant role in the conflict in recent months, and the Kremlin has employed these to target civilian infrastructure far from the frontlines of the war.
There have been reports that Tehran could be preparing to send more attack drones, along with surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles to Russia. However, the Islamic Republic has disputed the claims.
Questioning the Losses in Ukraine
Members of the 155th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade, one of the Russian Navy’s elite infantry units, reportedly blasted its superiors’ decision-making after suffering massive losses in Ukraine. One of the soldiers even described a recent attack on an eastern Ukrainian village as “baffling” after 300 Russian troops were killed or wounded.
“We were thrown into a baffling offensive,” a letter to the governor of the infantryman’s home region had claimed. It has since been shared on the Grey Zone Telegram channel – a popular pro-war channel on the social media platform. According to the Moscow Times, state media war correspondent Alexander Sladkov had even disclosed the existence of the letter without directly quoting it.
“We lost about 300 men killed, wounded and missing in four days as a result of a ‘carefully’ planned offensive by the ‘great commanders’,” the letter said.
“The district command together with [the brigade commander] are hiding this… for fear of accountability,” it continued. “They don’t care about anything other than showing off. They call people meat [cannon fodder].
The 155th Guards has seen a lot of hard fighting since the war began, and it reportedly had lost much of its strength trying and failing, to capture Ukraine’s capital in February and March.
This isn’t the first time that a firsthand account from a Russian soldier has been shared from the frontlines, but it certainly paints a vivid picture of the continued failure of leadership. It further backs up Kyiv’s claims that Russian personnel continues to take heavy losses in the fighting in Ukraine.
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He 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.
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