Ukraine War Update: Russia’s Military Keeps Losing, and Moscow Is Now a Terror State – On day 273 of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism by the European Union.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine: The Update
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 85,410 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 278 fighter, attack, bomber and transport jets, 261 attack and transport helicopters, 2,897 tanks, 1,887 artillery pieces, 5,832 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 395 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,396 vehicles and fuel tanks, 209 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,537 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 161 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 480 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
State Sponsor of Terrorism
In a watershed moment in the war in Ukraine, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that designates Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Out of the 596 members of the European Parliament, 494 voted in favor of the resolution, 58 against, and 44 absented.
The vote comes after another day of Russian missile strikes all across Ukrainian urban centers and critical infrastructure. Moscow is targeting the Ukrainian energy grid in particular in an attempt to make the life of Ukrainians harder, with winter just around the corner. However, such actions will only likely increase the Ukrainian resolve to fight rather than deter them.
U.S. President Joe Biden has suggested in the past designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism but has thus far not taken any action. Should the administration decides to follow the European Union’s example, Russia would be joining a rather unglamorous list of countries that is comprised of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
The Immediate Future of the War in Ukraine
The harsh Ukrainian winter is just around the corner, and with it, combat operations are going to ease up as both sides will have a much more difficult job supplying and supporting their forces all along the contact line.
Some have suggested, including senior U.S. officials, that this is an opportune time for Kyiv to take Moscow to the negotiating table and start a conversation about what an acceptable end to the conflict would look like. But Kyiv is committed to taking the war to the end and liberating all of the Ukrainian territory held by the Russians, including Crimea.
However, the U.S. military is not so certain that the Ukrainians can push the Russian forces out of Ukraine anytime soon. To even start accomplishing that goal, the Ukrainian military has to successfully ford the Dnipro River in the south in Kherson province, and create viable bridgeheads in the eastern bank.
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“The probability of a Ukrainian military victory defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine to include what they define or what the claim is Crimea, the probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said last week during a rare press conference alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
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.