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256,000 Dead or Wounded for Russia: Ukraine Is Waging a Massive Artillery War on Putin

The fighting is fierce. Ukrainian forces have learned from the counteroffensive’s early mistakes and are now attacking with prudence. 

U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fire a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a truck mounted multiple-rocket launcher system, during exercise Steel Knight at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 13, 2012. The battalion conducted this historic live-fire exercise, simultaneously utilizing HIMARS, M777 Lightweight Howitzer and Expeditionary Fire Support System. This is the first time all three artillery weapons systems were fired during the same exercise. (DoD photo by LCpl Joseph Scanlan, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

The Ukrainian counteroffensive continues to unfold in the country’s south and east.

Kyiv is attacking along three main axes of advance — two in the southern Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and one around the ruined town of Bakhmut in the Donbas region. 

The fighting is fierce. Ukrainian forces have learned from the counteroffensive’s early mistakes and are now attacking with prudence. 

Take Out Their Artillery! 

One of the primary shifts in tactics from the first days of the counteroffensive is that the Ukrainian military is now targeting and destroying Russian artillery in the sector. 

Although Russian forces are losing a lot of men on the ground, they are taking especially heavy artillery losses. The Kremlin is losing between 15 and 30 destroyed artillery pieces every day. In the last seven days alone, Moscow lost close to 150 guns. 

This extremely heavy rate of casualties is far worse when considering that it is a sustained rate. Russian forces have been losing this many guns for several weeks, and since the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, they have lost more than 1,000 artillery pieces. The Ukrainians are specifically targeting Russian artillery pieces and multiple launch rocket systems as a way of gaining long-range fire superiority over the battlefield. By establishing that superiority, the Ukrainian military is steadily wrestling away from Moscow one of the most important parts of modern warfare. 

Moscow’s woes aren’t limited to artillery. 

Overall Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Russian forces continue to take a significant number of casualties every day. On the 540th day of the conflict, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces lost close to 500 men killed, wounded, or captured. 

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Thursday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 256,050 Russian troops. They also claim they have destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets; 314 attack and transport helicopters; 4,329 tanks; 5,169 artillery pieces; 8,398 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles; 714 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; 18 boats and cutters; 7,641 vehicles and fuel tanks; 486 anti-aircraft batteries; 4,272 tactical unmanned aerial systems; 773 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems; and 1,406 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.

Russia’s armed forces are paying a very high price for the delusions of President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader looks eager to drag out the war for as long as it takes for him to maintain his position in power. Before this conflict ends, many more Russian soldiers will die in service to the wishes of a dictator. 

A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from the Johns Hopkins University graduate, an MA from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is pursuing a J.D. at Boston College Law School. 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.