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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

The Ukraine War Slides Into Hell on Earth

MLRS rocket system. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
MLRS rocket system. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The fighting in Ukraine continues for the 307th day. Over the past 24 hours, nothing has really changed on the ground. Both sides continue the bitter fighting for the town of Bakhmut in the Donbas while they are also getting ready to resume major offensive operations when the ground hardens. 

Meanwhile, the suffering of the Ukrainian population continues. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, approximately 9 million Ukrainians across the country don’t have electricity as a result of the Russian missile and drone attacks against Ukrainian critical infrastructure. 

The Russian Casualties 

For yet another day, the Russian military continues to suffer heavy losses on the ground. Over the past 24 hours alone, the Russian forces lost more than 600 men killed, according to the official Ukrainian figures. 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 103,220 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number), destroyed 283 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 267 attack and transport helicopters, 3,016 tanks, 1,998 artillery pieces, 6,024 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 418 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,652 vehicles and fuel tanks, 211 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,707 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 179 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 653 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses. 

Bakhmut and the War 

The bitter struggle for the town of Bakhmut continues in earnest.

The rains and mud don’t severely affect the fighting around the town because of the close proximity between the two frontlines and the urban environment. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles don’t have to maneuver far or outflank enemy formations.

“Over the last 48 hours, fighting has remained focused around the Bakhmut sector of Donetsk Oblast, and near Svatove in Luhansk. Russia continues to initiate frequent small-scale assaults in these areas, although little territory has changed hands,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.

In several ways, the private military company Wagner Group has primarily replaced the Russian military in specific battlefield sectors, especially around Bakhmut.

Svatove is a key logistical hub in the east, and the Ukrainian forces have been trying to capture it for the better part of two months. But to reach the town, the Ukrainian military first has to capture the smaller town of Kreminna.

“To the north, elements of Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army were probably amongst the Russian forces recently deployed to Belarus. This formation was likely conducting training before its deployment and is unlikely to have the support units needed to make it combat-ready,” the British Military Intelligence added.

Since February, the Ukrainian military has captured hundreds of Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery pieces, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), and other miscellaneous vehicles and weapon systems. But putting them back into action against the Russian forces presents some hurdles, including a lack of spare parts. At least, the Ukrainian forces are familiar with the weapon systems because their arsenal before the war came from the Soviet Union or Russia

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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.