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Putin Should Be Scared: Russia’s Losses in Ukraine Are Unsustainable

Russian T-72 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Russian T-72 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

On day 257 of the war in Ukraine, the Russian military continues to change commanders like old handkerchiefs while losing thousands of troops in the process.

Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Update

The Russian military continues to take significant casualties in Ukraine.

According to the official Ukrainian claims—which are not too way off, judging from open source intelligence—in the last week alone, the Russian forces have had 4,730 troops killed and between 9,500 to 14,200 troops wounded, a figure which is based on the standard two to three wounded soldiers for every one killed.

Moreover, the Russian forces have lost 158 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 93 tanks, 64 other vehicles and fuel tanks, 57 artillery pieces, 53 unmanned aerial vehicles, 8 attack and transport helicopters, 5 air defense systems, and 3 fighter and attack jets. In addition, the Ukrainian air defenses have intercepted 47 cruise missiles that were heading toward Ukrainian urban centers and critical infrastructure.

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 75,930 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 277 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 260 attack and transport helicopters, 2,765 tanks, 1,781 artillery pieces, 5,611 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 391 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,184 vehicles and fuel tanks, 202 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,465 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 155 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 399 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

It doesn’t take a lot of expertise in military matters to understand that these are unsustainable casualties for a country and a military that hasn’t fully mobilized its resources for the war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has chosen to distance the Russian public as much as possible from the horrors of the frontline, where Russian troops are dying by the hundreds every day. And although that might be a politically savvy move for the Russian ruler, it does little to help the Russian military’s effort on the ground that could greatly benefit from reinforcements of men and materiel.

Russians on the Defensive

As a result of the casualties, the Russian military is very much on the defensive all across the battlefield. In the south and in the east, the Russian military is building trenches and anti-tank lines to delay the Ukrainian counteroffensives.

Putin, meanwhile, continues to change commanders in response to the repeated defeats in Ukraine. In the closing days of October, Major General Alexander Linkov replaced Colonel General Alexander Lapin, who had only recently been appointed recently to his position.

“If confirmed, this follows a series of dismissals of senior Russian military commanders since the onset of the invasion in February 2022. The Commanders of the Eastern, Southern, and Western Military Districts were replaced earlier this year,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.


T-90M from Russian Military in Ukraine.

“These dismissals represent a pattern of blame against senior Russian military commanders for failures to achieve Russian objectives on the battlefield. This is in part likely an attempt to insulate and deflect blame from Russian senior leadership at home,” the British Military Intelligence 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 InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

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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.