Ukraine War Update: Following a usual pattern by now, Russia launched another wave of missile attacks against Ukrainian urban centers in the wake of the West’s decision to send main battle tanks to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military is getting better at intercepting Russian cruise missiles and suicide drones, but those that manage to get through are still deadly.
On day 338, the fighting on the ground continues to be of small scale as both sides are getting ready for the upcoming counteroffensives.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Russian military continues to suffer heavy casualties on the ground.
Last week, the Russian forces earned the unfortunate “distinction” of losing more men killed and wounded in Ukraine than the U.S. military lost during World War One.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 124,710 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number).
Destroyed equipment includes: 292 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 283 attack and transport helicopters, 3,182 tanks, 2,180 artillery pieces, 6,340 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 452 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,001 vehicles and fuel tanks, 221 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,941 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 199 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 796 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
Local Russian Advances or Disinformation?
Over the few days, the Russian forces have been increasingly aggressive in the south in Zaporizhzhia province and in the east in the Donbas.
According to British Military Intelligence, the Russian forces have been conducting probing attacks in the area, especially around the town of Vuhledar, “but it is highly unlikely that Russia has actually achieved any substantive advances.
“There is a realistic possibility that Russian military sources are deliberately spreading misinformation in an effort to imply that the Russian operation is sustaining momentum,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
Poland Sends More Tanks
Poland announced that it would be sending 74 main battle tanks to Ukraine, including 14 Leopard 2s and 60 modernized T-72s.
It is expected that Poland will send more Leopard 2 tanks later down the line.
Poland has been a leader in the international effort to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion.
“If we don’t want Ukraine to be defeated, we have to be very much open and brave in supporting Ukraine,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.
“These were the arguments and also if Ukraine, God forbid, fails in defending their sovereignty and freedom, it would mean only the first step in the Kremlin’s mad strategy to rebuild the Russian Empire from the past,” he added.
Poland has already sent more than 250 T-72 tanks to the Ukrainian military.
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. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.