The disinformation war continues at a pace different from actual fighting and new materiel support continues to be delivered to the Ukrainians. Russian disinformation definitely doesn’t care about its credibility, likely because it knows it won’t get really prosecuted for war crimes. Russia will lose some capital from economic sanctions, even as rebuilding Ukraine will be a massive undertaking when the war is concluded. The real beneficiaries will be armaments manufacturers.
Ukrainian tank fires from cover at oblique angle as confused Russians return fire in wrong direction.
- The withdrawal of Russian forces from around Kyiv is nearing completion.
- Russia has not yet introduced forces withdrawn from western Ukraine into the fight in the east.
- Ukrainian forces continued to put up organized resistance in parts of Mariupol.
- Russian forces conducted limited offensive operations on the Izyum-Slovyansk axis.
Russia has not yet committed forces withdrawn from the Battle of Kyiv back into the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Russian reinforcements continuing the drive southeast from Izyum toward Slovyansk are from elements of 1st Guards Tank Army units that had been in the Kharkiv-Sumy area. Russian units that retreated from Kyiv will not likely regain combat effectiveness for some time, and it is not clear that the Russians intend to return them to the fight soon. That said, an unconfirmed Ukrainian military intelligence report suggests that Moscow could soon send the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, a unit that reportedly committed war crimes in Bucha, into the fight in eastern Ukraine in the hopes that guilty members of that brigade and witnesses of its war crimes are killed in combat with Ukrainian forces.
Belgorod continues to emerge as the primary concentration area for Russian forces regrouping and refitting after their retreat from Kyiv and in preparation for onward movement to their home stations or to join the fighting in the east. Elements of the Central Military District pulling back from Chernihiv Oblast are reportedly on their way to Belgorod. Their final destination is not yet known.
The Battle of Mariupol continues, with Russian forces continuing to pound the city using artillery and airpower. The constrained information environment in Mariupol prevents us from assessing concrete changes in control of terrain, but Ukrainian forces appear to be sustaining organized resistance in parts of the city.
Its important to be skeptical of any government claiming losses inflicted on an enemy, historically such figures can be grossly inflated. One extreme example was the Japanese government in World War II, which claimed to basically wipe out the US Pacific fleet in every battle.
Only for the pesky Pacific Fleet to keep being amazingly rebuilt in a few months and appearing closer to Japan each time. As such, Ive never used official Ukrainian claims on Russian losses during this war. Here is the most recent claims.
These claims might seem very high--though for the first time we actually have a tool for comparison. Open source intelligence based on photographic evidence. We can thus have a baseline comparison between minimum Russian losses and Ukrainian claims.
For tanks, which the open source intelligence has excellent evidence about, the difference between Ukrainian claims (676) and proven losses (425) is actually not that large considering that the OSINT figure is a base line.
There would be a large number of Russian losses not recorded--such as those not photographed (probably the large majority which were lost in territory under Russian ain the south and east), those which have been recovered by the Russians and those which have not yet been entered.
For those behind Russian lines, we can now assume those to be a very large number. Since the Russians pulled back from Kyiv, the database has been updated with approximately 50 new entries. Yet the Kyiv front only contained approx 30% of Russian forces.
If Russian forces in the south and east have suffered similar loss rates during the war, we can say that there would be something close to 115-120 undocumented destroyed Russian tanks behind Russian lines.
As for hit Russian tanks that they would be trying to recover, those damaged, etc, I have generally been using a rate of 25% of documented losses to put this figure in perspective. This is actually a very low rate (in WW2 there would be a much higher rate of damaged to destroyed
So I am being relatively cautious in estimating that there is another 25% of Russian tanks that would have been hit compared to those documented as destroyed. As of yesterday, that would have been an additional 111.
So if we add up documented losses (425) with a reasonable expectation of undocumented losses behind Russian lines (min 115) with damaged tanks that the Russians would be trying to salvage (111), you end up with 651 lost tanks.
That is only a little below the Ukrainian total of 676. So the Ukrainian claim, in historical terms, seems pretty reasonable and they might very well have hit 676 Russian tanks during the war so far.
Here is a link to the Oryx open source list, which has been sitting at 425 since yesterday, so still needs an update.
And here is a map of the territory (red and pink) in which there would be many undocumented Russian losses.
Been asked what percentage of overall Russian tanks that would be. Its not straightforward. If all Russian BTGs had a full compliment going into the invasion, that would be 1200. However other units would have had armor components as well, and Im not expert enough to say.
I think you could estimate around 1500 as a high base rate (that would be a lot for an army of 200,000. However, its also unlikely that all the BTGs had a full compliment as well, there were stories of them coming in below strength. so 1500 could be rather high.
Here is the thread on tank losses started a little while ago that got me thinking about this. Has something about how many losses were being recorded once the area to the north of Kyiv was recovered.
Most recent update has Russian tank losses up to 425, 176 of which have been captured outright by the Ukrainians and potentially reusable. The Ukrainians have captured more and more advanced tanks than they have lost so far in the war.
Ukraine has lost 93 tanks from all causes the large majority of which are T-64 (Soviet era tanks based on a model first built in 1964), while most of those captured have been T-72s with some T-80s and T-90s, all more modern and capable (designed 1972, 1980, 1990).
Actually Ukrainians have upgraded their T-64s in interesting ways that some have argued actually makes them qualitatively as good if not better than many Russian newer models. So Ukrainians have many more tanks than they’ve lost, but maybe not better.
An interesting story of the Ukrainians using their best tank brigade to defend Chernihiv, one of the keys to the Battle of Kyiv. Seems that the Ukrainians were able to keep Russian air power at bay allowing them to use their upgraded T-64s to great effect.
If the Russians have pulled out completely from the North, this is the kind of very strong unit that has been defending Kyiv that could be transferred to the Donbas.
U.K. MOD in its latest intelligence update is assuming a full withdrawal from the north.
Once those forces have gone, it won’t be quick to get them (or any other Russian forces) built up for another attempt at Kyiv. These troops are shot and have lost much of their equipment. A new force would require easy to see trainloads of equipment and many weeks of prep.
Ukraine should have some flexibility with some of their forces in the Kyiv region and they can get to the Donbas more quickly than the Russians.
• • •