Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Strikes Back: Russia Will Soon Attack with Large Offensive in Ukraine

M1 Abrams. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
M1 Abrams. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

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.

MORE: Ukraine Needs M1 Abrams Tanks Now (But Will Have to Wait)

MORE: Joe Biden Won’t Send F-16 Fighters to Ukraine

MORE: Why Putin Should Fear the F-16 Fighter 

MORE: Why Donald Trump Can’t Win in 2024

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.