The war in Ukraine just hit the 400-day mark. And yet, despite 400 days of fighting and extremely heavy losses, Russian forces have failed to achieve any of their objectives on the ground.
The Russian military keeps trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses but without much success.
The Ukrainian military continues to put a fierce defense all across the contract line. Despite the constant Russian pressure, Bakhmut continues to remain in Ukrainian hands. The Russian Wagner Group fighters are within the town but have failed to encircle or push out the Ukrainian defenders.
In part because of the lackluster progress in Bakhmut, the Russian military has shifted some of its offensive weight elsewhere on the battlefield, especially in the direction of Avdiivka, Vuhledar, Kreminna, and Kupyansk.
At the same time, the Ukrainians are getting ready to launch their own large-scale offensive operation somewhere on the battlefield. Kyiv has signaled that its counteroffensive will take place sometime in the late spring or early summer.
Russian Manpower Shortages and Recruitment
The Russian Ministry of Defense is likely getting ready for a major recruitment campaign, according to Russian media reports.
The goal would be to recruit 400,000 professional soldiers, and it would be different from the mobilizations of the reserves that the Kremlin has ordered in the past.
“Russian authorities have likely selected a supposedly ‘volunteer model’ to meet their personnel shortfall in order to minimise domestic dissent. It is highly unlikely that the campaign will attract 400,000 genuine volunteers,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
“Rebuilding Russia’s combat power in Ukraine will require more than just personnel; Russia needs more munitions and military equipment supplies than it currently has available,” the British Military Intelligence added.
However, there is a significant shortage of modern weapon systems and munitions in Russia right now, and any new troops would have to make do with obsolete systems like the World War Two designs the Kremlin is sending to the frontlines right now.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine: Update
The Russian forces continue to bleed on the fields and cities of Ukraine. Bakhmut, in particular, has proven to be the graveyard of the Russian Wagner Group private military company, which has lost between 20,000 to 30,000 troops in the months-long battle for the Ukrainian town. The leadership of Wagner Group seems to understand that.
“If Wagner PMC dies in the Bakhmut meat grinder and takes the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the forces given to it with it, then we have fulfilled our historical role,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader and funder of Wagner Group, said this week.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 172,900 Russian troops, destroyed 306 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 291 attack and transport helicopters, 36,10 tanks, 2,671 artillery pieces, 6,974 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 526 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,518 vehicles and fuel tanks, 277 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,239 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 291 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 911 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
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.
April 1, 2023 at 1:55 pm
It astounds me how people can fabricate and construct out of thin air a version of events that makes them feel good about themselves, regardless of reality, just blurting out pure hopeful thinking delusions for a dopamine hit and a few likes…Independent observers (not Putin apologists) based on available & confirmed information specify Ukrainian loses in 250,0000 with over 60,000 wounded. The same group identified Russian loses of less than 20,000 with 8,000 wounded. That’s 12 to 1 ratio of Ukranian to Russian loses… Those are facts and not alternative reality author is pushing.
April 1, 2023 at 9:23 pm
Mother Russia is getting her menopausal old butt kicked. Time to turn back, Pootin.
April 2, 2023 at 12:45 am
The author doesn`t really believe any of this. More propaganda.General Zalushny told our chief of staff Ukraine had lost 257,000 KIA a month ago. Probably 300,000 now.
April 2, 2023 at 4:00 am
Indeed, recently Wagner did loose some 20,000 fighters, but not because of combat losses. Remember 6 months ago, when thousands of Russian convicts where offered to serve 6 month in the Wagner assault groups in exchange of their freedom ?
April 3, 2023 at 12:04 am
The author really needs to get sources other than CNN and the State Department for his articles. Very well written, too bad it is mostly fiction. The other article about the Russian Army and alcohol consumption, that I believe…Back in the day, now I am dating myself…Among many other rather inventive recipes…It was quite common to mix cocktails from the cooling system of the nose mounted radar and generator of the MiG-25. Good old Gastronom. The delicatessen with wings. Soyuz nerusime republik svobodnych…