Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Can’t Escape the Ukraine War Hell He Created

Switchblade Drone. Image Credit: Industry Handout.
Switchblade Drone. Image Credit: Industry Handout.

The war in Ukraine has been going on for 370 days, but there is no end in sight as the Russian forces continue to launch assaults in several parts of the country.

The Ukrainian defenses continue to hold despite the Russian offensive operations, especially in the Donbas and east.

The Ukrainian forces are biding their time and getting ready for their own large-scale counter-offensive. 

Russian Casualties in Ukraine 

The Russian forces continue to suffer heavy casualties.

The rate of daily casualties has slowed down lately, but the average killed or wounded remains at around 500 a day.

The Russian military continues to struggle to generate enough men to sustain its offensive operations. 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 149,240 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number).

Destroyed equipment includes: 300 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 288 attack and transport helicopters, 3,388 tanks, 2,383 artillery pieces, 6,630 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 478 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,252 vehicles and fuel tanks, 247 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,051 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 230 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 873 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses. 

Russian Airborne Systems 

The Russian forces have suffered another humiliating strike deep behind their lines.

Over the weekend, Belarussian partisans and exiled opposition leaders reported that a Russian A-50 Mainstay Airborne Early Warning aircraft had been damaged by drones at the Mashulishchy air base in Belarus.

Earlier in January, an A-50 Mainstay and two MiG-31 Foxhound fighter jets had been spotted in Belarus during joint training with the Belarussian Air Force.

The Belarussian partisans are reporting two explosions to the front and middle sections of the A-50 Mainstay, most likely destroying significant parts of the aircraft. 

“Attribution and damage has not been officially corroborated. However, the loss of an A-50 MAINSTAY would be significant as it is critical to Russian air operations for providing an air battlespace picture,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest update of the war.

After the strike, the Russian Aerospace Forces have around six A-50 Mainstays in service. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the Russian Aerospace Forces have lost around 300 aircraft of all types in the war so far. Independent reports put that number to around 100. 

The Russian Aerospace Forces use the A-50 Mainstay in airborne early warning and command and control roles—essentially a maestro of the skies that directs fighter jets to their targets and warns them of incoming enemy aircraft or missiles. 

Russian Force Generation 

To make up for its losses in Ukraine, the Russian leadership is most likely contemplating another mobilization.

But the narrative of limitless Russian manpower is a myth, according to the Institute for the Study of War. 

Russia can mobilize more manpower, and Putin will likely do so rather than give up. But the costs to Putin and Russia of the measures he will likely need to take at this point will begin to mount rapidly,” the D.C. think tank assessed recently.

The more the war goes on, the harder it is getting for Russian President Vladimir Putin to maintain the balances that keep him in power. 

MORE: B-21 Raider: China Should Fear America’s New Stealth Bomber 

MORE: H-20: China Is Building a New Stealth Bomber 

MORE: Is Russia’s Su-57 Felon Stealth Fighter a Total Bust?

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.