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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Planned to Destroy Ukraine (He Failed Badly)

War in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Ukraine's military firing artillery. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

One year ago, the Russian military launched an invasion of Ukraine.

Poorly prepared and with faulty intelligence, the Russian forces walked right into their doom.

One year after the war began, the Russian forces are nowhere closer to achieving any of their primary objectives on the ground. 

The war, meanwhile, seems to have no end in sight as Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t show any sign of de-escalation, and the Ukrainians continue to be committed to the liberation of their country.  

Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Updated Data 

In one year of war, the Russian forces have suffered extremely heavy casualties, and some units have been completely wiped out.

Western intelligence estimates put the number of Russian casualties close to 200,000.

Throughout 2023, the Russian forces have been suffering an average of 500 men killed or wounded every day, with highs of more than 1,000 losses in a day.

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 146,820 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number),

Destroyed equipment includes: 299 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 287 attack and transport helicopters, 3,363 tanks, 2,363 artillery pieces, 6,600 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 474 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,224 vehicles and fuel tanks, 247 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,033 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 229 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. 

The War So Far 

On the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion, the British Military Intelligence released an informative assessment on the war.

“Since 2014 Russia’s strategic goal in Ukraine has highly likely been consistent: to control its neighbour. Over 2014-2021, it pursued this objective through subversion, by fomenting an undeclared war in the Donbas, and by annexing Crimea,” the British Military Intelligence stated.

On February 24, 2022, the Russian leadership chose another path, and launched a full-scale invasion on its neighbor in an attempt to seize the whole country, depose the Ukrainian government, and set up a proxy state.

But the Kremlin’s plan went south very fast. What was supposed to be an operation that would last from three days to two weeks, ended up being a protracted war of attrition.

“By April 2022, Russia realised this had failed, and focused on expanding and formalising its rule over the Donbas and the south. It has made slow and extremely costly progress.

“In recent weeks, Russia has likely changed its approach again. Its campaign now likely primarily seeks to degrade the Ukrainian military, rather than being focused on seizing substantial new territory,” the British Military Intelligence assessed.

“The Russian leadership is likely pursuing a long-term operation where they bank that Russia’s advantages in population and resources will eventually exhaust Ukraine,” the British Military Intelligence added.

Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine doesn’t seem to have an end date in sight. Both sides are committed to their strategy, and until one buckles down, there will be more fighting and bloodshed.

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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.