The Ukrainian military continues to push hard along several axes of advance in the Donbas and southern Ukraine.
The Counteroffensive Continues
The Ukrainian counteroffensive continues to make steady gains. According to Kyiv, Ukrainian forces have advanced about four miles and liberated more than half a dozen settlements in the western part of the Donbas and in Zaporizhzhia. Although the Ukrainian forces have taken casualties, they press on.
The initial stages of a large-scale offensive operation are the hardest. The Ukrainians are also fighting without any air superiority, which translates into more casualties for the reconnaissance elements that are spearheading the counteroffensive. And Kyiv hasn’t committed its best units to the fight yet.
On the other end, the Russian forces have launched localized counterattacks to reclaim lost territory. However, in most cases, the Ukrainian military has managed to cling to its gains. The Russian forces are fighting hard, relying on a combination of minefields, tactical drones, artillery, and strong points to push back the advancing Ukrainians. For the time being, the Russian forces have fought skillfully and according to a sound operational plan. But with casualties mounting, it is uncertain for how long the Russian units on the frontlines will manage against the Ukrainian mechanized attacks.
Russian Casualties In Ukraine
On day 475 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of Russian casualties continues to be on a downward trend compared to the initial days of the counter-offensive. Over the past 24 hours, the Russian military, Wagner Group private military company, and pro-Russian separatist forces lost about 470 troops.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Tuesday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 216,650 Russian troops, destroyed 314 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 300 attack and transport helicopters, 3,935 tanks, 3,766 artillery pieces, 7,642 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 601 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 6,473 vehicles and fuel tanks, 363 anti-aircraft batteries, 3,309 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 511 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,183 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
The Russian military is running out of men, pushing the Russian Ministry of Defense into desperate measures. The latest scheme coming out of the Kremlin is to officially subordinate all private military companies fighting in Ukraine to the Russian military. However, Wagner Group financier and leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is pushing back against the plan and refuses to give up his mercenaries to his rival.
The Wagner Group has been entangled in a feud with the Russian Ministry of Defense for months now, quarreling for weapons, ammunition, and troops.
All of this spatting within the Russian ranks is only helping Ukraine.
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.