The war in Ukraine goes on with no end in sight.
Kyiv’s ongoing large-scale counteroffensive in southern Ukraine and the Donbas struggles on the face of Moscow’s extensive fortifications.
On the other side, the Russian forces seem incapable of doing anything more than defend at this point.
In this state of operational limbo, both sides continue to take significant casualties on a daily basis.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Over the past 24 hours, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces lost almost 500 men killed, wounded, or captured, as well as over 80 heavy weapon systems and vehicles.
Over the last 24 hours, the Russian forces also lost a very high number of main battle tanks, 23. Due to the overall heavy losses in weapon systems, the Russian military has been experiencing a serious shortage of main battle tanks. Newer vehicles, such as the T-90 and T-80, and older ones, such as the T-72, have taken serious attrition. As a result, the Russian Ministry of Defense has had to take out of the mothball obsolete tanks, such as the T-54/55, that were designed and built more than 60 years ago. Although the Russian military is trying to update these antiquated weapon systems with modern sensors and protective gear, they are still inadequate for a modern battlefield and an easy target for Ukrainian anti-tank weapons and artillery fire.
The Russian forces also continue to lose a steady number of artillery pieces and multiple launch rocket systems. This week alone, the Russian military has lost almost 135 such systems. In the current static phase of the conflict, the loss of so many long-range fires systems degrades the defensive capabilities of the Russian forces and blunts their chances of effective future offensive operations.
Russian vs. Ukrainian Casualties
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 263,490 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,459 tanks, 5,530 artillery pieces, 8,613 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 735 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 8,009 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 500 anti-aircraft batteries, 4,421 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 831 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,445 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
To be sure, the Ukrainian forces are taking significant casualties as well. According to Western intelligence estimates, the Ukrainian military has lost about 200,000 troops killed, wounded, or captured. However, in sharp contrast to the Russian forces, more Ukrainian troops are wounded than killed. This is a testament to the quality of the Ukrainian military medicine system as well as to Western support.
The war is now one of attrition. Both sides are taking heavy casualties in men and weapon systems and struggle to generate enough forces to finish the conflict on their terms. However, the current situation favors the Kremlin because the war is taking place overseas and not inside Russia.
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, 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 Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.