The Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Update
The Russian military continues to suffer heavy losses in Ukraine.
In the first week of December, the Russian forces lost almost 3,000 troops killed in action (and between 6,000 to 9,000 wounded), 68 vehicles and fuel tanks, 28 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 20 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 12 artillery pieces, 10 tanks, and 3 attack and transport helicopters, including a Ka-52 Alligator attack chopper that was shot down by a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile in the Donbas over the weekend.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Monday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 91,690 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number), destroyed 281 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 264 attack and transport helicopters, 2,924 tanks, 1,914 artillery pieces, 5,900 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 395 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 16 boats and cutters, 4,497 vehicles and fuel tanks, 211 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,582 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.
It Could Be Hell: The Coming of the Winter in Ukraine
Despite the onrush of winter, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have indicated that they will continue with their counteroffensive operations.
The Ukrainian military is better prepared and equipped to conduct offensive operations than its adversary due to the constant stream of logistical support from the West and also the familiarity with the region and environmental conditions.
It makes sense for the Ukrainian forces to keep up with their counteroffensive operations.
Right now, Ukraine has the strategic advantage, and Moscow is on the run almost all across the battlefield, with Bakhmut in the Donbas being the only exception.
“Ukraine’s ability to maintain the military initiative and continue the momentum of its current operational successes depends on Ukrainian forces continuing to conduct successive operations through the winter of 2022-2023,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed in its latest operational update of the war.
On the other hand, the Russian forces will want a quiet winter. A relatively quiet winter with defensive warfare will offer the Russian military an opportunity to rearm and refit and prepare for the next fighting season once the snow has melted.
However, to be effective in the famous Rasputitsa, the mud season after the melting of the snow, the Russian forces will need to be able to operate cross-country. Last year, when the war began, the Russian military lacked that capability and was forced to fight on the roads.
What Happens Next?
As a result, its numerical and mechanized advantage was effectively negated, and the Ukrainian forces had an easier job targeting and taking out Russian armored columns with anti-tank missiles and artillery.
So, the Russian forces will need to do some serious work to get ready for the next fighting season and also hope that the Ukrainians won’t continue to attack over the winter.
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.