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
In the past few days, the Russian forces have been averaging around 700 men killed and wounded every day.
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.
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.
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.