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Putin’s War in Ukraine Is Starting To Look Pretty Desperate

The fighting in Ukraine continues. On day 399 of the war, the two militaries are fighting hard for the town of Bakhmut.

In addition, the Russian forces continue to run out of the necessary modern weapon systems to fight effectively on the ground. 

The Battle of Bakhmut 

The heavy fighting for Bakhmut continues. The Wagner Group mercenary group continues to lead the offensive against the town. 

The Ukrainian forces have managed to push back the Russians from a key resupply road outside the town. Although a small country road, Route 0506 has become a key resupply line for the Ukrainian garrison of Bakhmut. The Russian forces had come to within a few hundred yards of the road, but a recent streak of Ukrainian counteroffensives pushed them back and secured the route, at least for the time being.

When it comes to the AZOM industrial complex, the situation continues to remain vague. Russian media claims that the industrial complex has fallen to Russian forces. Visual evidence of the ground somewhat supports the Russian claims that Wagner Group fighters are in control of the facility. 

“However, the area likely remains contested, as it has been for the past fortnight,” according to the British Military Intelligence.

However, in the past few days, the rate of Russian assaults has slowed down significantly. This is a result of extremely heavy casualties, manpower shortages, and a shift in the strategic planning on the Russian side. 

“With Wagner having now confirmed the release of at least 5000 prisoner fighters, personnel shortages are likely hampering Russian offensive efforts in the sector,” the British Military Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.

Seeing that the Russian forces are stuck in Bakhmut and that the town won’t be falling easily, the Russian military leadership has started to shift the weight of its large-scale offensive elsewhere on the battlefield. 

The Russian Casualties in Ukraine

Besides the heavy casualties in troops that the Russian forces have been suffering, they are also running out of modern weapon systems. As a result, the Russian Ministry of Defense is having to take out of storage ancient weapon systems and munitions in a desperate attempt to plug the yawning gaps created by the attrition of the war. 

Indeed, the situation is so desperate within the Russian ranks that Moscow is sending T-54/55 main battle tanks, which were developed during World War Two, to the frontlines.

Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Wednesday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 172,340 Russian troops (and wounded approximately twice to thrice that number)

Destroyed equipment includes: 306 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 291 attack and transport helicopters, 3,609 tanks, 2,659 artillery pieces, 6,966 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 526 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,507 vehicles and fuel tanks, 277 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,239 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 288 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 911 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses. 

Expert Biography:

 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. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.



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