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Russia Could Achieve a Big Win in Ukraine. The Price: Thousands of Dead Soldiers

M142 HIMARS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The Ukrainian defenders in Bakhmut are under increasingly heavy pressure from the Russians.

On day 375 of the war in Ukraine, it is likely that the Russian military will finally capture the small Ukrainian town in the Donbas soon, thus achieving a political objective for Russian President Vladimir Putin.


The battle for Bakhmut is reaching its climax.

The Russian forces have been making progress in and around the Ukrainian town.

The Ukrainian defenses are “under increasingly severe pressure,” according to the British Military Intelligence, but they hold for the time being. 

There is heavy fighting taking place in and around the town, especially in the northern suburbs, where the Ukrainian positions are very precarious. 

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly stated that it won’t fight in Bakhmut at all costs, suggesting that if the position becomes unattainable, it will withdraw its troops. 

“Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units, and within the last 36 hours two key bridges in Bakhmut have been destroyed, including a vital bridge connecting the city to the last main supply route from Bakhmut to the city of Chasiv Yar,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in the latest estimate of the war.

The British Military Intelligence added that the two main resupply routes out of the town are increasingly limited.

The battle for the small town in the Donbas is the longest in the war so far.

Since the summer, a joint Russian military and mercenary force has been trying to breach the Ukrainian defenses and capture Bakhmut.

At the start of the fighting, the Russian military had the lead for the assault against the town. But after months of failed attacks, the Kremlin gave operational control to the infamous private military company Wagner Group.

Relying on a mixture of convicts and contractors, Wagner Group send wave after wave of troops against the Ukrainian defenders, slowly, but very costly, pushing them back. Now, the Russian military has regained the lead in operation, but Wagner Group continues to play an important supporting role.

The Russian Casualties in Ukraine

The Russian military has been making some progress in and around Bakhmut but that has come at the cost of extremely heavy casualties.

In the past four days, the Russian forces have lost more than 3,000 troops killed and wounded.  

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 153,120 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number)

Destroyed equipment includes: 302 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 289 attack and transport helicopters, 3,414 tanks, 2,426 artillery pieces, 6,692 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 488 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,299 vehicles and fuel tanks, 248 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,071 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 232 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. 

Both sides are having a hard time resupplying their forces on the frontlines, highlighting the importance of logistics in modern warfare. 

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. 

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.