Along with the fighting on the ground as part of the large-scale counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military and intelligence services are taking the fighting to occupied Crimea and inside Russia as well.
Using Western cruise missiles, kamikaze drones, and special operations forces, the Ukrainians have been inflicting humiliating defeats on the Russians.
The latest attack has a personal hue—it targeted Sochi, the area where Russian President Vladimir Putin has built a luxurious summer house.
Ukraine’s Attacks Are Getting Bolder
Last week, the Ukrainian forces used suicide drones to attack Sochi, a resort town in Russia along the Black Sea. According to Russian news outlets, a helicopter landing site at the Sochi airport was damaged by the strike.
“Sochi is a popular holiday destination, heavily associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and serves as the summer base for many of Russia’s elite,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in an update on the war.
This is the second time the Ukrainians have attacked the resort town in less than a month. The first recorded strike against Sochi during the war targeted an oil storage facility near the airport and caused a large fire.
The Ukrainian strikes are very likely an attempt to personally humiliate Putin and show him that even his summer resort isn’t far away enough.
“Strikes near the city mark a further example of the war directly affecting Russia’s population well away from the Ukrainian border,” the British Military Intelligence added.
Russian Casualties in Ukraine
Meanwhile, the Russian military and pro-Russian separatist forces continue to take casualties on the ground. On day 592 of Russian Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian forces lost about 350 men killed, wounded, or captured.
Compared to a string of days with an average of over 500 casualties, the sharp decrease in Russian daily losses suggests that the Kremlin is slowing down with its localized counterattacks.
To counter the Ukrainian tactical breach in the Orikhiv sector, the Russian military launched a series of counterattacks in the direction of Robotyne and Verbove. However, the Ukrainian forces were ready for such a contingency.
Using the tried and tested recipe of drones and long-range fires, the Ukrainians were able to stop the Russian offenses in their tracks, causing heavy losses, especially in heavy weapon systems. Indeed, over the weekend, the Russian military lost over 260 main battle tanks, artillery guns, multiple launch rocket systems, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, tactical unmanned aerial systems, and support vehicles.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Monday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 282,630 Russian troops, destroyed 322 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 316 attack and transport helicopters, 4,823 tanks, 6,706 artillery pieces, 9,126 armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, 808 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 21 warships, submarines, boats, and cutters, 9,113 vehicles, and fuel tanks, 543 anti-aircraft batteries, 5,190 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 959 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 1,530 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
About the Author
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.