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Is the Ukraine War Going on Winter Break?

Ukraine
Russian T-72 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

December is here, and the war in Ukraine goes on for another day. On day 281 of the conflict, the two militaries are starting to be restricted by the incoming winter.

The Russian Casualties in Ukraine: An Update 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 89,440 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number), destroyed 280 fighter, attack, bomber and transport jets, 261 attack and transport helicopters, 2,915 tanks, 1,904 artillery pieces, 5,877 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 395 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,441 vehicles and fuel tanks, 210 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,562 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 163 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 531 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Ukrainian Energy Grid 

Since September, the Russian military has launched repeated missiles attacks against the Ukrainian critical infrastructure, especially against the energy grid.

With suicide drones and ballistic and cruise missiles, the Russian forces are trying to strike back at the Ukrainians in an attempt to inflict some costs following a string of humiliating defeats in the east and south of the country.

The Ukrainian military is using U.S. and NATO air defenses systems, such as the German IRIS-T SLM System and the U.S. National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), which according to senior U.S. defense officials has had a 100 percent interception rate over Ukraine.

“This is likely the first example of Russia attempting to implement the concept of a Strategic Operation for the Destruction of Critically Important Targets (SODCIT), a key component of the military doctrine it has adopted in recent years,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.

With the SODCIT concept, the Russian military planned to use long-range missile strikes to take out an adversary’s national infrastructure rather than target its military. Also, the concept aimed at demoralizing the population of the adversary, thus forcing the government to surrender.

During the initial stages of the invasion, the Russian forces didn’t employ the SODCIT concept, opting to leave the critical infrastructure unharmed because they were confident of a quick victory and looked to use that infrastructure for themselves. Instead, the Russian military went after the Ukrainian forces, targeting and destroying a good chunk of the Ukrainian fixed positions.

But now, the Russian forces are starting to use the SODCIT concept as military victory remains elusive. The concept is less likely to succeed now because the Russian military has expended a significant amount of its ballistic and cruise missile arsenal.

“Russia’s strikes continue to cause power shortages resulting in indiscriminate, widespread humanitarian suffering across Ukraine. However, its effectiveness as a strategy has likely been blunted because Russia has already expended a large proportion of its suitable missiles against tactical targets. Also, with Ukraine having successfully mobilised for nine months, material and psychological effect of the SODCIT is likely less than if it was deployed in the initial period of a war,” 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.

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.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dan

    December 1, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    There have been assertions made about the Russians running out of missiles since March. What is the basis for making these claims? The fact that they are continuously contradicted by waves of Russian missiles hitting their targets suggests they should be met with skepticism.

  2. Rick

    December 1, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    Dan, Did you miss the reports of russians removing nuclear war heads and using ballast to throw chucks of steel at Ukraine? Or reports of pootie sniveling to Iran and NK for arms?

  3. Johnny Ray

    December 1, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Ukraine is willing to fight and win. I am not so sure the West is willing to provide the weapons and material support to make it happen, however. I see asinine limitations placed on provisioning war supplies and direct meddling in tactics and strategies to use the weapons that are supplied. I detect the odor of Viet Nam, Afghanistan political play war rot to be frank.
    The West needs to commit 100%s to WIN the war by doing whatever it takes to drive the Russian Army out of ALL of Ukraine. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not in the Spring. Not after some alleged critical election or political event.
    Just do it! Fight to win! That’s what counts.

  4. Brad A

    December 1, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Let me get this straight: Russia is unlikely to succeed in making Ukraine surrender by bombarding Ukraine into the 18th century because they are running out of missiles? 🤣

  5. Jacksonian Libertarian

    December 1, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    “But now, the Russian forces are starting to use the SODCIT concept as military victory remains elusive.”

    “victory remains elusive?”

    A Navy with its flagship sunk, and getting hammered by drones, by an opponent that doesn’t even have a Navy. A military that has 3 times the artillery, tanks, apcs, aircraft, but is steadily losing territory. Over 4,000+ long range missiles fired, while Ukraine doesn’t have any to respond with, and still losing territory. Ukraine is looking like the victor if Russia can’t stop the war.

    Russia is clearly trying to force negotiations while they still retain some of Ukraine’s territory. Ukraine should point this out every time weak western leaders suggest a ceasefire or negotiations.

  6. Al Pelota

    December 2, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    It astounds me how people like Stavros can fabricate and construct out of thin air a version of events that makes them feel good about themselves, regardless of reality, just blurting out pure hopeful thinking delusions for a dopamine hit and a few likes…

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