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250,000 Dead or Wounded: Putin’s War in Ukraine Is An Epic Failure

 In total, since February 24, 2022, the Russian forces have lost more than 250,000 troops killed, wounded, or captured, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Ukraine TOW Missile Attack. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Ukraine TOW Missile Attack. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive is in its third month. Kyiv’s forces are still trying to breach extensive Russian fortifications and achieve an operational breakthrough in the south of the country and in the Donbas region.

The Russian military is putting up a skillful resistance and has performed better than most analysts expected. 

However, the Kremlin’s defensive effort comes at a cost.

Extremely Heavy Russian Casualties in Ukraine

The Russian military is bleeding in Ukraine. In July, Russian forces lost almost 20,000 men killed, wounded, or captured, making last month one of the deadliest in the war so far. 

There has been an upward trend in Russian military casualties since last fall. 

In November, Moscow lost about 16,400 men. In December, Russian losses were almost the same: 16,500. The new year started with heavy losses for Moscow, with approximately 20,200 casualties. In the month that marked the one-year anniversary of the conflict, the Russian military lost 21,500.

Then in March, the Kremlin lost just over 24,000 men, the highest single-month tally of the conflict. At that point, the rate of casualties started to slow down, and in April and May, Russian forces lost 16,500 and 17,000 men, respectively. Finally, in June, with the Ukrainian counteroffensive taking place in southern Ukraine and the Donbas, Russian forces lost approximately 20,000 men. 

Although the Ukrainian military is in the middle of its large-scale counteroffensive, in July, the rate of Russian casualties remained relatively low compared to other months, with about 450 to 500 casualties every day. 

Artillery remains the deadliest weapon on the battlefield, and there are a lot of casualties from close-quarters fighting.

The Ukrainian military is conducting an effective long-range fire campaign against the Russian forces and is already using the cluster munitions that the United States sent a few weeks ago.

Total Russian Casualties in Ukraine

 In total, since February 24, 2022, the Russian forces have lost more than 250,000 troops killed, wounded, or captured, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. That amounts to more than the full invasion force that Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed on Ukraine more than 18 months ago. 

Besides the human losses, the Russian military has lost tens of thousands of heavy weapons systems. Specifically, the Russian forces have lost more than 30,000 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery pieces, multiple launch rocket systems, tactical vehicles, and drones.

The Russian military is having serious trouble replacing the modern weapons systems it has lost in the fighting. As a result, the Kremlin has resorted to using tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that were designed and built more than 50 years ago. This causes more casualties in turn, as these obsolete systems can’t survive on the battlefield against modern Ukrainian weapons. 

Moscow doesn’t seem able to step off this wheel of death and destruction. As the months pass, Russian men will continue to leave their last breaths in a foreign land chasing the arrogant dreams of a tyrant. 

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 InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

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1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise 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.