The war in Ukraine continues for day 364 as Russia withdraws from a major nuclear arms treaty and commits to the continuation of the conflict.
The situation on the ground remains contested as the Russian forces are pushing hard to capture the town of Bakhmut in the Donbas.
Despite localized gains, they are thus far failing.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made an address to the Russian Federal Assembly.
During his speech, Putin announced that Russia would be withdrawing from the New START Treaty.
Signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the New START Treaty limited the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads the two countries could have. It was set to expire in 2026.
In addition, the Russian leader continued to defend his “special military operation” in Ukraine, suggesting that everything is going according to the plan.
Putin made clear that he intends to continue with the war, thus closing the door of negotiations, at least for the time being.
“Putin continues to present a contradictory narrative of existential struggle while insisting everything in Russia is fine and going to plan.
This renders both messages ineffective,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
But besides the announcement on the suspension of the New START Treaty, Putin didn’t really say anything new.
As usual, Putin also attacked the West for its ideals and support to Ukraine. Despite the aggressive tone of his speech, Putin didn’t offer any practical solutions to the many problems that the Russian forces are facing on the ground.
Indeed, it is very likely that the Kremlin will continue with the same flawed strategy of attrition.
The Russian forces continue to suffer extremely heavy casualties for almost no territorial gains.
All the while, the Ukrainians are biding their time and bolstering their arsenal with the intent of launching a major counteroffensive later in the year.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s February 21 address to the Russian Federal Assembly did not articulate specific goals or intentions for the war in Ukraine, instead reinforcing several long-standing rhetorical lines in an effort to buy Putin more space and time for a protracted war,” the Institute for the Study of War assessed in its latest operational update on the war.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Update
The Russian forces continue to lose men in Ukraine but have very little to show for it.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 145,060 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number)
Equipment destroyed includes: 299 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 287 attack and transport helicopters, 3,334 tanks, 2,345 artillery pieces, 6,569 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 471 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,212 vehicles and fuel tanks, 243 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,026 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.
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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 22, 2023 at 6:30 pm
“Despite localized gains, they are thus far failing.”
But, their strategy is to attrit Ukraine…
February 23, 2023 at 3:25 am
These various personnel casualty and weapons loss accounts, *according to who* ?? Just who is doing the on-the-ground tallies, and can they be considered accurate and dependable? Do the Russians wait around the battlefields for Ukranian army auditors to happen along and do their body counts? I doubt it. Of course, the Russians aren’t likely to be forthcoming on their own actual casualty counts, either, if only for propaganda purposes and their historic proclevity for secrecy. And the Ukranians, like their Russian ethnic brothers, might want to hide their own true numbers also, if they are actually in excess of what is otherwise being reported by whomever. So again, who is doing the counts? U.N observers? Highly dubious, as since when do U.N. observers ever stick around any hazardous location for long? Overall reporting on this conflict has been so shallow that only murky and questionable results are really coming out of it. This whole thing has bogged down into a WWI-like trench warfare/quasi-siege situation, a stalemate without prospect of a serious breakout on either side. We have heard of planned offensives and counter-offensives since December, but little if anything of such substance has materialized. It’s a wait-and-see war. The Russians seem to have little if any interest or ambition in interdicting NATO weapons shipments to any degree, curiously, and the remaining somewhat rag-tag elements of the Ukranian army don’t seem to be doing much more than milling around themselves. Prospect: dullsville, until one side or the other really begins to *move*.
February 23, 2023 at 3:31 am
Attrition only works if the degradation of the enemy’s combat power is greater than the degradation of your own. Since Ukraine is being supplied by the deep pockets West, only manpower losses are significant. Russia on the other hand is losing irreplaceable equipment, and even its manpower loses are much worse than Ukraine’s based on population. Attrition is a losing strategy for Russia, and they are stupid for committing to it.
February 23, 2023 at 1:50 pm
The attrition of the Russian tanks being replaced by German tanks sounds more like an upgrade to me.
Old Desert Coyote
February 23, 2023 at 2:07 pm
Attrition is the only way Russia fights wars. In World War 1;The Czar was finished when the Russian Soldier figured out he had a better chance of surviving by killing the Czar than the German Soldier.
In World War Two the soviet Union lost 8.6 million men in combat. That was the same size of the entire American Army. (BTW we nasty Americans lost about 420,000 from all branches in all theaters of operations.) German combat deaths and missing in action was about 3.9 Million.
February 23, 2023 at 2:35 pm
“We looked across the battlefield at the Russian military and you know what we didn’t see?…We didn’t see a single non-binary transgender pedophile in the bunch…Russia is failing by our Globalist standards.”