On Friday, the United States announced another package of military aid to Ukraine that included, for the first time, cluster munitions.
These munitions are specifically designed to take out large formations of troops and weapon systems at once.
But the 42nd package of security aid to Ukraine included much more than just cluster munitions.
M2 Bradleys, M1126 Strykers, and Recovery Vehicles
Worth approximately $800 million, the latest package includes 32 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 32 M1126 Stryker armored personnel carriers, and a plethora of other equipment.
The M2 Bradleys and M1126 Strykers will sustain the Ukrainian heavy brigades that are doing most of the fighting right now in the Donbas and southern Ukraine.
In addition, the latest package of military aid includes 37 tactical vehicles to recover, tow, and haul equipment on the battlefield. As the Ukrainian military is becoming increasingly more mechanized, these types of tactical vehicles are a necessity to maintain the force.
For example, the Ukrainian military has lost several Western weapon systems in the counteroffensive, including M2 Bradleys, AMX-10RC tank killers, and a handful of Leopard 2 main battle tanks. But several of these weapon systems were incapacitated and captured by the Russian forces and could have been retrieved and repaired with the necessary equipment.
The military aid package also includes mine-clearing equipment, FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank weapons, demolition munitions for obstacle clearing, ammunition for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), small arms, and more than 28 million bullets and grenades (the U.S. alone has committed to Ukraine close to 250 million bullets and grenades so far).
“The United States will continue to work with its Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with capabilities to meet its immediate battlefield needs and longer-term security assistance requirements,” the Pentagon stated in a press release.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Meanwhile, on the ground, the Russian forces continue to take serious casualties on a daily basis. On day 502 of the Russian invasion, the Russian forces lost more than 600 troops killed, wounded, or captured for yet another day.
Since the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in early June, the Russian forces have lost more than 21,000 men, something that has been reducing their effectiveness on the ground. Russian commanders are increasingly having to deal with a lack of units to defend against the Ukrainian assaults. The Russian Ministry of Defense keeps moving units around the battlefield to plug holes, thus taking a gamble and leaving some parts of the front less defended.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Sunday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 234,040 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 309 attack and transport helicopters, 4,078 tanks, 4,366 artillery pieces, 7,764 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 668 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 6,929 vehicles and fuel tanks, 413 anti-aircraft batteries, 3,685 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 628 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,271 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.