On day 346 of the war, things continue to look grim for the Russian military as the two combatants are bracing for the next phase of the war.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
In the latest assessment of Russian casualties, U.S. and Western officials estimate that Moscow has lost almost 200,000 troops killed or wounded in the war so far.
That number is a sharp increase from the 100,000 casualty figure that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley had given back in November.
Since then, the Russian forces have been trying to capture Bakhmut, and although they have made some progress, the Ukrainian forces are in full control of the town in the Donbas.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Saturday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 130590 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number)
Weapons and kit destroyed include: 294 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 284 attack and transport helicopters, 3218 tanks, 2220 artillery pieces, 6394 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 460 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,081 vehicles and fuel tanks, 225 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,956 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 203 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.
More Weapons, Yes, But More Weapons Needed
Ukraine is receiving more weapon systems from the U.S. and NATO, but Kyiv wants more—and rightfully so.
The Russian forces are about to launch a large-scale offensive, and the Ukrainian military has its own major counteroffensive to think about. Ukraine needs as many weapons as possible to end this war as soon as possible.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to push for more weapons.
“Today, I spoke with the Minister of Defence of Poland in Kyiv – he, together with other partners and the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, took part in the third meeting of the states that are members of our tank coalition. We are doing everything to ensure that our soldiers receive modern tanks as soon as possible,” Zelensky said in his daily update.
“And today, the United States announced another large package of defense support for our country. I thank President Biden, all friends of freedom in Congress, and every American for this tangible support!” the Ukrainian leader added.
Meanwhile, the Russian military has put the illegally annexed provinces of Ukraine under its direct control for operational purposes.
“The move highlights that the Russian military likely aspires to integrate newly occupied territory into a long-term strategic posture,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
The Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk provinces are now under the control of the Russian Southern Military District.
“However, it is unlikely to have an immediate impact on the campaign: Russia currently deploys forces from across all of Russia’s military districts, commanded by an ad hoc deployed headquarters,” the British Military Intelligence added.
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.