The war in Ukraine is about to hit its one-year mark.
On the 363rd day of the conflict, the fighting in the Donbas continues with no respite.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 144,440 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, 3,326 tanks, 2,338 artillery pieces, 6,562 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 471 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,210 vehicles and fuel tanks, 243 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,023 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 226 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.
More Weapons for Ukraine
In his surprise visit to Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden announced another package of security aid to the embattled country.
The latest package of weapon systems is worth almost $500 and mainly contains ammunition for the artillery weapon systems that the Ukrainian military has already received.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is waiting to receive its first batches of main battle tanks for several different Western countries. The Ukrainian forces will be receiving various numbers of Challenger 2, Leopard 1, Leopard 2, and M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks.
Fighting on the Ground
On the ground, the Russian forces continue to pursue several different offensive operations. In the east, the Russian military is trying to push back the Ukrainian forces from the outskirts of Kreminna.
Since September, the Ukrainian military has been trying to reach Kreminna and, from there, liberate the key logistical hub of Svatove, which lies further to the east. Svatove supplies Russian forces in the east and the Donbas, and if the Ukrainians manage to capture it, they will seriously frustrate Russian offensive operations.
Russian forces also continue with their offensive operations in the Donbas in the direction of Bakhmut and Vuhledar. But these assaults are costly, and the Russian units spearheading them, especially the 155th and 40th Naval Infantry Brigades, have suffered such high casualties that are likely “combat ineffective,” according to the British Military Intelligence.
“Russian forces are likely under increasing political pressure as the anniversary of the invasion draws near. It is likely that Russia will claim that Bakhmut has been captured to align with the anniversary, regardless of the reality on the ground,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in a recent update on the war.
“If Russia’s spring offensive fails to achieve anything then tensions within the Russian leadership will likely increase,” the British Military Intelligence added.
Tensions among the Russian ranks are nothing new.
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.