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The War in Ukraine Is Becoming a Giant Powder Keg

Russian T-90 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Russian T-90 Tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Ukraine War Update: The war in Ukraine continues with no end in sight.

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On day 351 of the conflict, the fighting on the ground continued, especially around Bakhmut in the Donbas, while Ukraine is also about to get more weapon systems from the West. 

Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Wednesday was the deadliest day for Russian forces in Ukraine, with more than 900 men killed or wounded. And just when it seemed that the Russian military couldn’t suffer the same number of casualties in just a day, the Ukrainians are claiming the same number of Russian casualties for Thursday too.

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces had killed approximately 135,010 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number),

Destroyed equipment includes: 295 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 285 attack and transport helicopters, 3,255 tanks, 2,244 artillery pieces, 6,468 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 463 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,121 vehicles and fuel tanks, 232 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,967 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 211 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. 

Wagner Group Beatings 

The infamous private military company Wagner Group is once more in the news after a video emerged in which several mercenaries are seen beating up one of their commanders in the vicinity of Bakhmut

Wagner Group has been playing a major role in the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine. But to meet its manpower demands, Wagner Group has been recruiting tens of thousands of convicts, including murderers and rapists.

According to the U.S. Intelligence Community, there are around 50,000 mercenaries in Ukraine, 40,000 of which are convicts and the rest 10,000 contractors, usually former military personnel.

In the Donbas, the mercenary group has been playing an important role. Wanger Group had been the main Russian force in the fight for Bakhmut for several months. The assault of the private military company reached its culminating point in December.

And while it looked like the Kremlin would be taking its foot off the gas and focusing its efforts elsewhere, the Russian military came in and largely replaced Wagner Group as the main fighting force for the Ukrainian town. 

More Tanks for Ukraine 

Denmark and the Netherlands joined Germany in committing to send Ukraine Leopard 1 main battle tanks. In a joint statement, the three countries announced that they would be refurbishing 100 Leopard 1 main battle tanks and sending them to Kyiv “to support Ukraine in their endeavor to withstand Russian aggression.”

According to the announcement, the tanks will be ready within the coming months, as will the training and logistical support for the Ukrainian crews.

Although older and technologically inferior to the Leopard 2, the tanks will still contribute to the upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensives as they largely match or outperform Russian tanks.

In a surprise visit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flew to the United Kingdom and France on Wednesday. His European counterparts indicated that Ukraine might be receiving more military assistance, including fighter jets, in the future. 

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Expert Biography

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.