Evidence from the ground increasingly suggests that the Russian military is getting ready to launch a large-scale offensive somewhere in Ukraine soon.
On day 344 of the conflict, the situation on the battlefield remains tense as both sides are bracing for the next phase of the war.
The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Russian military continues to suffer extremely heavy casualties on the ground in Ukraine.
In the past few days, the Russian forces have been averaging around 700 men killed and wounded every day.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 129,030 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number)
Destroyed weapons include: 293 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 284 attack and transport helicopters, 3,211 tanks, 2,212 artillery pieces, 6,382 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 458 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,064 vehicles and fuel tanks, 222 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,951 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 200 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.
The Ukrainians have, too, been suffering heavy losses, with Western officials estimating an approximately even number of casualties on both sides (though the Russians have more men killed and the Ukrainians more wounded) for a total of around 200,000 casualties.
An Unforeseen Cost to Russia
When the Kremlin invaded Ukraine for a second time almost a year ago, the Russian military was considered one of the most powerful forces in the world. Indeed, even the Pentagon considered the Russian military to be a near-peer threat, meaning that it had the capabilities to match or directly compete with the U.S. military.
The war in Ukraine has destroyed that image and, with it, the prospects of the Russian defense and aerospace industry.
Russian weapon systems haven’t performed ideally in Ukraine, to say the least. The Russian forces have lost thousands of tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery pieces, fighter jets, helicopters, and other weapon systems. In a way, the conflict has been a test between Western and Russian weapons. A Ukrainian military equipped largely with NATO weapon systems has wreaked havoc on Russian units equipped with Soviet- and Russian-made gear.
“Even before the invasion, Russia’s share of the international arms market was declining. Now, when faced with conflicting demands, Russia will almost certainly prioritise deploying newly produced weapons with its own forces in Ukraine over supplying export partners,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
The Western sanctions are also taking a heavy toll on the ability of the Russian defense and aerospace industry to produce weapon systems and munitions for the Russian troops on the ground.
“In addition, Russia’s ability to sustain support services for existing export contracts, such as providing spare parts and maintenance, is likely to be seriously disrupted for at least the next three to five years,” the British Military Intelligence added.
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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 Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.
February 2, 2023 at 3:41 pm
Where and when will Russia start their offense? How many troops will Russia use in the upcoming offense? I have seen all kinds of numbers.
As the ground is probably frozen (a precondition for an offense) will Russia attack in the East or South or both? Or will they wait until Spring? Little is reported about this war. It is hard to believe anything I read or hear.!
February 3, 2023 at 12:14 am
Garismov is one of a long line of “intellectual” Russian military leaders. His “doctrine” calls for units with a high degree of tactical mobility to allow Russian forces to engage the enemy at the longest range possible – ie the heaviest possible use of missiles, mortars and artillery. If it is true, as reported basically everywhere, that Russia “out guns” Ukraine in artillery (not to mention air & missiles) 4-1 or more (maybe much more) it is almost impossible to believe that Russian losses are greater than Ukrainian. Tactically most attacks have been made by Ukrainians – Russian attacks are thought out and canceled when not succeeding. So I find Russian claims that Ukraine is bleeding at Bakhmut and Luhansk (as it bled earlier at Kherson and during their Kharkov offensive) convincing. And if so, Ukrainian losses, not Russian losses are crippling. Events as developing on the battlefield for the last month certainly indicates this to be true. But hope springs eternal in the breast of the Kyiv fan.
February 3, 2023 at 6:56 am
About the mentioned numbers of
Russian weapons destroyed:
You’ve got to realize really well how this information is coming to us all.
Even Google doesn’t hold up neutrality – type in “how many Ukrainian tanks are destroyed” and you literally only (!) receive information about Russian destroyed tanks.
That’s a big sign to me.
Imagine, how soldiers are shooting over great distances: how exactly are you able to know which type of armour you’re hitting, how you can observe it, prove it, and add up. Honestly, I can’t hardly believe that one would be able to exactly know all of these numbers.
Moreover, as we now know, Russia suffers more casualties than Ukraine, but not by THAT wide margin.
It could mean, that the numbers of destroyed Russian armour apply for a big part on the Ukrainian armour losses. And those numbers would be near impossible without not destroying the whole Ukrainian army, given their initial numbers and added weapons. It’s a simple math.
The grain of salt is big here. I’m sorry for that, as I don’t want to spread doom & gloom.
February 3, 2023 at 3:05 pm
You can believe as much as you like in your media telling you that “the Russian economy is torn to shreds”, but in reality we withstand the sanctions of half the world .. You can believe that we do not produce high-tech weapons, but it is our hypersonic missiles that can reach the goal faster than anyone in the world.. You can think that Russians drink a lot, but in reality, I saw the most alcoholics in London, Poland, Finland and Ukraine.. You can continue to believe that Russia is losing on the battlefield.. The more surprise you will get later.
February 3, 2023 at 3:20 pm
Well, finally, at least someone began to doubt the “total Western truth” … So I read Western texts, using translation, because I want to know an alternative opinion. By the way, it exists in Russia. Why don’t you translate articles from Russian? Because you’re not interested in alternative opinions? The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.. Russia can also have national interests – imagine! NATO was at our doorstep.. Why? For what purpose? For what purpose did the West supply military instructors to Ukraine, long before the military clash? What did you prepare Ukraine for? To war with its own population in the Donbas? NATO knew that Russia would not stand aside and would begin to defend the Donbass – this was necessary for the United States ..
February 4, 2023 at 1:10 am
War is the art of deception. No one knows how many tanks, armored vehicles and howitzers were destroyed in total. Even considering the usual lies of the belligerents. It is very important for soldiers to force the enemy to spend ammunition on false targets. To do this, real tanks are masked as well as possible, and for reconnaissance from the air, casually disguised deceptions are exposed: inflatable tanks, armored personnel carriers, guns, trucks. Russia has entire units armed with rubber inflatable troops that can be put into position in 15 minutes from the back of a pickup truck and can deceive a drone with a thermal imager by posing as a stationary tank with a running engine. Exchanging an inflatable tank worth $2,000 for an impact drone worth more than $100,000 is a bargain. No one can say how many of the equipment “destroyed” by Ukraine were rubber.