Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Russian losses have really picked up speed over the past few days. In the last 72 hours, the Russian military, Wagner Group private military company, and pro-Russian separatist forces have suffered close to 1,900 killed or wounded.
Their casualties in weapon systems have been equally heavy. In the last 72 hours, the Russian forces have lost 66 vehicles and fuel tanks, 49 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 48 artillery pieces, 32 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles,16 main battle tanks, ten special equipment platforms, and seven multiple launch rocket systems.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 194,430 Russian troops, destroyed 308 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 294 attack and transport helicopters, 3,723 tanks, 3,010 artillery pieces, 7,248 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 554 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,952 vehicles and fuel tanks, 306 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,572 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 380 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.
The Russian forces continue to suffer from force generation problems.
The loss of so many weapon systems (some of which are modern and others obsolete) further reduces the combat effectiveness of the Russian forces and makes it harder to conduct large-scale combined arms warfare of the kind necessary to prevail in a modern battlefield.
Victory Day Parades
Authorities in several Russian provinces have canceled the Victory Day parade on May 9 due to security concerns.
Every year on May 9, Russia celebrates the victory against the Axis forces in World War Two.
“Moscow’s Victory Day celebration is likely to go ahead but on a smaller scale. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reception following the parade (last held in 2019) will not go ahead,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in a recent estimate of the war.
This time last year, the Kremlin acted as if nothing was going on in Ukraine. At the time, President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukrainev was struggling, but the situation wasn’t as dire as it is today.
“The timing of the UAV strike on the Kremlin a few days before Victory Day shows Russia’s increasing vulnerability to such attacks and has almost certainly raised the threat perception of the Russian leadership over the Victory Day events,” the British Military Intelligence added.
But there is also another concern for the Kremlin.
With the war not going as planned and casualties mounting, the Kremlin most likely fears anti-war protests.
Such a show of no confidence in Putin on the same day the country celebrates one of its great victories would be a political disaster for the Kremlin.
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.