The war of attrition in Ukraine continues with minor changes on the battlefield. On day 428 of the conflict, the Russian forces continue to lose men but aren’t suffering the big casualties of the past weeks.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The downward trend of Russian casualties continues.
They also lost about 40 heavy weapon systems, including artillery pieces, tactical unmanned aerial systems, multiple launch rocket systems, support vehicles, and fuel tanks.
However, they lost no tanks and just three armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.
The lack of significant losses in those two weapons systems suggests an ebb in the close quarters fighting.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 189,460 Russian troops.
Destroyed equipment includes: 308 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 294 attack and transport helicopters, 3,694 tanks, 2,887 artillery pieces, 7,181 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 543 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,819 vehicles and fuel tanks, 294 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,467 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 353 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.
Russian “War Olympics”
The Kremlin has decided to cancel the 2023 iteration of the “War Olympics.”
An annual military event with international participation—mainly from China and former Soviet republics—the Russian “War Olympics” has offered the Russian military to showcase its capabilities and foster ties with other militaries, including the Chinese.
The Tank Biathlon, an event in which tank crews compete in a series of drills for the top spot, has been the crown jewel of the “War Olympics.”
“Russia has likely canceled the games mainly because it is concerned the event would be seen as frivolous in wartime,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
Last year, when the situation was still concerning but much better than the current for the Russian leadership, Moscow had moved forward with the “War Olympics” and even used some of its most advanced weapon systems in the event. However, that drew criticism from the energetic and influential military blog community on Telegram. Prominent mil bloggers, such as war criminal Igor Girkin, attacked the Russian Ministry of Defense for holding the games while its forces were struggling to capture Mariupol. The Kremlin doesn’t want this to happen again.
But there is also a more practical reason for canceling the games: the Russian military simply can’t spare the tanks and crews to participate in a training event.
“There is also a realistic possibility that due to losses in Ukraine, the Russian MOD is concerned a shortage of tanks, tank crews, and other skilled personnel will risk the Russian team’s usual domination of the medals table,” the British Military Intelligence added.
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.