The large-scale Ukrainian counteroffensive is getting closer. Over the last days, there have been numerous “accidents” near the Russian frontlines, causing disruption in the resupply of frontline units.
Leading up to the last large-scale Ukrainian counteroffensive in the fall, there had been a similar streak of “accidents.”
The war in Ukraine goes on, and on day 435, the Ukrainians seem to have the strategic momentum. Indeed, Kyiv’s upcoming counteroffensive can redraw the battlefield.
Sabotage Behind Enemy Lines
Over the past few days, there have been numerous instances of accidents on Russian logistical nodes close to the battlefield. As a result of the incidents, Russian supply lines to the battlefield have been disrupted.
“A recent uptick in Russian rail accidents in areas bordering Ukraine, attributed to sabotage committed by unknown actors, has almost certainly caused short-term localised disruption to Russian military rail movements,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
The attacks are also distracting the Russian military and internal security services.
“Although its Railway Troop Brigades are capable of restoring lines quickly, these incidents will increase pressure on Russia’s internal security forces, who will highly likely remain unable to fully protect Russia’s vast and vulnerable rail networks from attack,” the British Military Intelligence added.
Adding to these accidents have been a series of Ukrainian attacks with suicide drones against Russian oil refineries and fuel depots near the battlefield. The Ukrainians have been clearly targeting these logistical nodes to complicate the resupply of Russian frontline units and make a defense against the upcoming large-scale counteroffensive harder.
The recent spike in the rate of Russian casualties continues. For a third day in a row, the Russian military, Wagner Group private military company, and pro-Russian separatist forces lost more than 500 men killed or wounded, for a total of approximately 1,900 casualties.
The Russian forces have been suffering from force generation shortages for months. Indeed, the Kremlin has to take the risk of sending undertrained reservists to undermanned frontline units.
The result is often more casualties as the reinforcements don’t have the necessary training to survive for long on a modern battlefield. But the Russian military’s brazen tactics that completely disregard the safety of its troops make it easier for green Russian troops to get killed or wounded.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 193,210 Russian troops, destroyed 308 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 294 attack and transport helicopters, 3,710 tanks, 2,978 artillery pieces, 7,224 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 550 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,916 vehicles and fuel tanks, 304 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,540 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 373 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 947 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
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.