On day 342 of the war in Ukraine, the attrition continued.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Update
They also claim they have destroyed 293 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets; 284 attack and transport helicopters; 3,201 tanks, 2,197 artillery pieces, and 6,378 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles; 454 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; 18 boats and cutters; 5,048 vehicles and fuel tanks; 221 anti-aircraft batteries; 1,951 tactical unmanned aerial systems; 200 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, as well as four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems; and 796 cruise missiles, shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.
Probing Attacks Intensify
The Russian military has intensified its offensive operations in the south of the Donbas region, around the towns of Pavlivka and Vuhledar.
In the past weeks, Russian forces launched daily probing attacks, looking for vulnerabilities on the Ukrainian frontline.
Now, according to British military intelligence, the Russian assaults are more concerted, aiming to push the Ukrainian forces back.
“Russian commanders are likely aiming to develop a new axis of advance into Ukrainian-held Donetsk Oblast, and to divert Ukrainian forces from the heavily contested Bakhmut sector,” the British Ministry of Defense assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
Pressure in the sector, however, doesn’t mean that the Russian forces are about to achieve a breakthrough and push through the Ukrainian defenses.
“There is a realistic possibility that Russia will continue to make local gains in the sector. However, it is unlikely that Russia has sufficient uncommitted troops in the area to achieve an operationally significant breakthrough,” the Ministry added.
M2 Bradleys on Their Way to Ukraine
A first batch of more than 60 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles is on its way to Ukraine, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The vehicles left the U.S. from North Charleston, South Carolina, last week and should be in Ukraine within the next few weeks.
“The Bradley is a very powerful vehicle that we are providing to the Ukrainians,” a U.S. Army spokeswoman stated in a press release. “This is going to hopefully enhance their capabilities to provide forward advancement in the battlefield and regain lost grounds, by having equipment that matches or exceeds what the Russians have.”
The U.S. has committed to sending around 110 M2 Bradleys to Ukraine, while Germany will be sending 40 Marder A1s and Sweden will send around the same number of CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles. The vehicles will help Ukrainian forces considerably in any upcoming counteroffensive, as they can transfer mechanized infantry close to the target quickly and safely.
Moreover, according to the British Ministry of Defense, the first Ukrainian tank crews that will eventually operate the Challenger 2 main battle tank have arrived in the United Kingdom.
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.