Doing an update as it does appear that Ukraine is slowly winning this fight. No inside knowledge here, but between them preserving their offensive forces, their continued infantry and artillery operations, their continued limited advances, and the disorder and complaining in the Russian ranks, it just seems like Ukraine has gotten the edge on the battlefield and will continue exploiting them. They do appear to be winning the artillery war. Whether this will lead to a major offensive in August will be seen soon.
Ukraine continues making incremental gains on the battlefield, especially south of Bakhmut and south of Orikhiv. This includes 1) advancing (a total?) of 1.7 kilometers towards Melitopol (Ukrainian claim on 7/14) and 1.4 kilometers in the Berdiansk direction (Ukrainian claim on 24 July), 2) advancing on both sides of Bakhmut, especially to the south 3) taking artillery dominance over and around Bakhmut, and we suspect 4) starting to win the artillery war (see: Is Russia losing the artillery fight? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)). There is some suspicion that we will see an actual Ukrainian offensive in August.
There are also a few significant events off the battlefield; 1) turns out Prigozhin met with Putin in person on 29 June, 2) Erdogan, President of Turkey, has approved Sweden for NATO, 3) the Ukrainians assassinated a Russian submarine commander while jogging in Krasnodar, Russia, 4) Ukraine killed a LtG in a strike on the CP in Berdiansk and 5) MG General Popov is relieved of command and his defiant complaints are broadcast on Telegram. See: First Prigozhin, now Popov | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). There are reports of other generals also relieved, including General Sergei Surovikin. He was the Russian commander in Ukraine from 8 October 2022 to 11 January 2023 and has not been heard of since 24 June. His deputy, Colonel-General Andrei Yudin, was fired from the army. A deputy defense minister, Colonel-General Yunis-bek Yevkurov, has also missing since 5 July. Also on 15 July they dismissed the commander of the 106th Guards Airborne Division, Major General Vladimir Seliverstov. Also, the infamous Igor Girkin (Igor Strelkov) has also now been arrested on Friday morning (7/21) according to his wife. Apparently, Moscow has lost tolerance for criticism from the right (pro-war crowd) and well as from the left (anti-war crowd). Girkin was opposed to Prigozhin, called for him a traitor and to be executed, but he also called for Putin to step down. Meanwhile, Prigozhin is in Belarus and is continuing the criticize the war. This seems like an endless story now.
And, 6) the Crimean bridge was hit again (7/17), this time by two naval drones. One of its two lanes is going to be shut down for a few months. The railroad bridge is fine. I do get the feeling that Ukraine can take down this bridge when they need to, especially now that they have Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG cruise missiles. Range of 340 miles (550 km) and a 990 lb warhead (450 kg). Ukraine first used them in May to attack Luhansk, launched from Su-24s. They killed MG Sergey Goryachev, COS 35th Combined Arms Army on 12 June. On 22 June, the Chongar Bridge between Crimea and Kherson province was hit by them.
And, 7) Chechens fighting for Ukraine operated last week in Belgorod province, taking out a Ural-4320 truck.
And 8) on 24 July Ukraine did another attack on Moscow with two drones and
9) on 24 July Ukraine also did drone strikes on Crimea.
Prigozhin Mutiny: This lasted only two days (23-24 June), the immediate damage done by it was limited. Prigozhin as of the morning of 27 June was in Minsk, Belarus. On 29 June he met with Putin along with 35 of his Wagner associates. It appears he is free to reside and operate in Russia. It does appear that he keeping the elements of the Wagner Group that is operating in Africa but has lost his presence in Syria and the Middle East. Not sure what is the status of the rest of group, but I gather the group as combat force in Russia has been effectively dissolved. This has probably weakened the Russian defense around Bakhmut.
There were 250 tents set up for the Wagner Group in Belarus but it does not appear they have moved there in mass, although there is a photo of Prigozhin apparently sitting in a tent there. The Wagner Group has announced that they are no longer recruiting “for a month.”
I gather most of the Wagner group is in Rostov province, at the front or deployed in the Middle East and Africa. They are supposed to hand over their heavy weapons to the Russian Army.
Meanwhile General Sergei Surovikhin (“General Armageddon”) appears to have been detained or arrested. He was the command of the Russian forces in Ukraine from 8 October 2022 – 11 January 2023. He apparently had close ties to Prigozhin. He was last seen on 24 June, although his daughter claimed as of 29 June that he had not been detained. The lack of public appearances by Surovikhin is generating all kinds of rumors, talk and conspiracies, as usual.
It is reported on 8 July (but not confirmed) that command of Ukraine has been handed over the Airborne General Mikhail Teplinsky. Valery Gerasimov has given up that command but remains Chief of General Staff of the Army. Not sure if this is related to Prigozhin’s mutiny. Still not sure if this report is even true.
Prigozhin did seize control of Rostov (estimated population 1,130,305 in 2018) and Voronezh (estimated population 1,047,549 in 2018). His column advancing on Moscow up route M-4 was estimated to be 70-100 vehicles. It was clearly a force of less than 2,000 men. According to Prigozhin, they got to 200 kilometers from the outskirts of Moscow. They clearly got as close as Tula province. This was a significant threat. UK intelligence is estimating that a total of 8,000 Wagner fighters participated in the rebellion.
The short-term impact of this includes:
- The one Wagner unit still in the front lines near Bakhmut I assume has been neutralized as a combat unit, weakening the defense in that sector.
- The rest of Wagner Group is no longer available as a strategic reserve. It was supposed to be defending Belgorod province.
- According to Prigozhin, up to three Russian helicopters were claimed to have been shot down. Other reports estimate that maybe up to 13 Russian soldiers killed. No Wagner soldiers were killed, but two Russian soldiers who joined the group were. The latest reports indicate that six Russian helicopters and one plane were shot down, including an Il-22M airborne command post (confirmed by photos). Other twitter posting identified the ten people on the plane by name and picture (all assumed killed). Oryx reports (based on photo evidence) the aircraft lost as a Mi-35 attack helicopter, a Ka-52 attack helicopter, three Mi-8 electronic warfare helicopters, one Mi-8 transport and the Il-22M. This is pretty poor performance by the Russian Air Force and shows the real power of the Russian/Ukrainian/modern surface-to-air missiles. There were reported by name It is also reported that some Russian aircrews did not fire on Wagner group for various reasons.
- The position that this was a war of aggression conducted under a false casus belli has been broadcasted across Telegram by Prigozhin.
- He also strongly criticized the leadership of the MOD, blaming them for the war (and letting Putin off the hook?).
- As he is a person with some reputation and authority, this will reverberate among the body politic and the citizens. They certainly cannot claim be ignorant of these statements. Interview video from the streets of Moscow: What’s going on? – YouTube.
- This has certainly been broadcast to everyone in the Russian Army.
- Clearly a large part of the Wagner Group support Prigozhin, as do some of the Russian Army, as does some of the citizenry (as witnessed by the people in Rostov cheering and applauding the Wagner troops as they left).
- This has divided Russia into at least four clear factions: 1) Putin and government, 2) Prigozhin and elements of the army, 3) Navalny and supporters (at least tens of thousands), 4) Russians fighting for Ukraine in Ukraine (a least a couple of hundred).
- Prigozhin probably will be safe in Belarus and I assume can still do business there. Significant parts of the Wagner group has moved there also, along with lots of trucks and even a few AFVs. Don’t now how much of the group will move there, but it appears to be thousands.
- The Wagner Group still exists and is under Prigozhin’s control. They had significant forces deployed in the Middle East and Africa conducting missions for Russia. They had a claimed 25,000 troops operating in southern Russia.
- It is unknown what will become of the Wagner Group. Some may end up joining the Russian Army. Not sure what the majority will do and where they will go. If they are no longer paid, I assume they would then go home, scattering up to 20,000 experience veterans across Russia who support Prigozhin. I suspect they will not want to disband this experienced unit… so…
- It is clear that Putin is worried about a 1917 scenario (where the Russia troops went home during the middle of a war). The fact that he mentioned it in his speech on the 24 June is significant.
- This whole thing could end up removing 10-20K soldiers from the Russian OB. Considering that they are some of the most experienced and capable troops, this could hurt. Nominally this could reduce the combat power of the Russia Army by up to 10%.
- This could end up (further?) demoralizing the Army creating the potential for that 1917 scenario.
- This could be the first of many cracks among the “long-suffering Russians” and there could be more destabilizing events in the future.
- Because of the weaknesses created with points 11-13, this could force Russia to be ready to compromise if negotiations come this fall or winter.
I hesitate to speculate further. That has not stopped a lot of other people.
Spring (now Summer) Offensive: The Ukrainians are doing limited attacks in at least three locales in the south from west to east: 1) south of Orikhiv (at the outskirts of Robotyne, 12 km south), 2) near Huliaipole and 3) near Veyka Novosilka. They are also attacking around Bakhmut, both to the 4) north and 5) south of it. 6) Ukraine also has a bridgehead across the Dnipro River near Kherson. This sector appears quiet. There has been some action reported around Kreminna. For a while, people were talking about a Russian counteroffensive of over 100,000 from there. I never bothered to repeat this rumor and it now seems to have disappeared. I have been hesitant to repeat all the various reports out there. It does appear that primary action is now around Bakhmut, of all places. It does appear that Ukraine is still making some progress there. It is defended by Russian airborne troops, among others. Bakhmut may be the first place to fall to a Ukrainian offensive. As of yesterday (25 July) Ukraine took Andriivka to the south of Bakhmut (the small village of Andriivka just south of Klishchiivka) and had advanced into Klishhiivka.
Overall, it appears that Ukraine tried a limited one-week offensive. This was not the Spring offensive that many people were expecting with 12 brigades chopped to the effort. They did get one advancing brigade shot up (47th MBde) and that was pretty much it. The 47th Mechanized Brigade is still conducting operations, as observed in videos.
It appears that Ukrainian offensive operations started on Monday, 5 June with a series of serious “shaping operations.” See: So has the Spring Offensive started? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Some are saying the offensive started 4 June.
On 6 June Russia (probably) blew the Kakhovka dam. On 20 June Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported that 21 people have died. Other people are reporting higher figures. This has temporarily shut down any operations in Kherson province.
On Thursday, 8 June, Russia released images showing a Ukrainian column moving up and being interdicted by artillery. They were supposedly near a village called Novopokrovka, probably the one in Zaporizhzhia Oblast to the NNE of Melitopol. As least one German Leopard 2A4 tank was destroyed along with 4 U.S. M-113s. See this video for a discussion: Update from Ukraine | The Counterattack Start is not good | Leopard-2 Convoy was Ambushed – YouTube. The unit was pretty compacted while it was travelling. I gather it was the 47th Mechanized Brigade, which was reported back in March to be armed with T-55S and Bradleys: The nine new brigades for the spring offensive – organization | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org
On 10 June, Neskuchne (pop. 644 in 2016) was taken (or earlier). On 11 June, Blahodatne (pop. around 1,000) was taken by the Ukrainian 68th Jager Brigade. On 11 June Makarivka was taken. On 11 or 12 June Storozheve was taken by 35th Naval Infantry Bde. These are all small towns clustered to the northwest of Mariupol. A breakthrough here would effectively isolate Crimea and all points to the west. Lots of potential here, although it is still a fairly limited advance. Makarivka is 56 miles (90 kilometers) from Mariupol.
One twitter report on the action at Blahodatne said that 60 people from the 68th Jager Brigade attacked, and 4 were killed (see @armedMaidan for June 17). If this is true, this is a company-level attack by a brigade-sized force. I think this is fairly typical of what is happening across the front.
The 47th Mech Bde is one of the 9 new brigades raise for this offensive. The other two units listed above have been around since early in the war (April 2022 for the 68th) and from the beginning (in the case of the 35th Naval Infantry Bde). See: The nine new brigades for the spring offensive – organization | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Some Ukrainian loss figures are coming in. The attack on the advancing tank company on 8 June resulted in at least one Leopard tank and 4 M-113 destroyed. It appears that four Leopards have been confirmed as lost overall along with 2 AMX-10RCs. A total of 16 U.S. Bradleys have been killed (see: Ukraine loses 16 US-made armored vehicles, group says, but still gains territory | CNN). This would indicate that the brigades involved include 47th Mech Bde (with 99 M-2 Bradleys) and the 37th Bde with 14 AMX-10s. It does appear that 2 of 9 new brigades slotted for this spring offensive have been committed to action. Some people are saying they have committed three new brigades (they are not named), see: Ukraine deploys 3 of 12 brigades in counteroffensive, main battle still ahead − Reuters (msn.com). Article also notes that “Muzyka believes that the counteroffensive initially progressed quite well, but progress seems to have stopped 5 or 6 days after the start of this significant phase. The analysist has no idea why it happened. The current count of lost Bradley’s according to Oryx and other sources is 34 destroyed or damaged. This is 15 destroyed, 15 damaged and 4 damaged and abandoned (see: Attack On Europe: Documenting Ukrainian Equipment Losses During The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine – Oryx (oryxspioenkop.com)). This is out of at least 99 provided and maybe as many at 109. With them all assigned to 47th Mech Bde, and there being around 30 Bradley in each of three mechanized battalions, this indicates that two of their four manuever brigades have been shot up.
Also of note is 3 Leopard 2A4s lost (1 destroyed, 2 damaged) and 5 Leopard 2A6 lost (2 destroyed). So, at least 3 Leopards lost (33rd Bde?), along with 1 PT-91 Twardy (117th Bde?), 1 M-55S (47th MBde?), up to 4 AMX-10 (37th Bde), 41 M-113 (28 destroyed – possibly 118th MBde) and 54 M1224 MaxxPro MRAPs (38 destroyed – possibly 32nd or 33rd Bde). See: The nine new brigades for the spring offensive – organization | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Probably the most significant loss was four Leopard mine plow tanks were killed at the same time and place, along with an MRAP and a Bradley. Finland provided Ukraine with up to six of these modified tanks. Not sure what killed them but picture leaves one to suspect they were taken out by mines, which is kind of what they were supposed to sweeping. One wonders if this was an equipment shortfall.
On 12 June, Russian MG Sergei Goryachev, the COS 35th CAA, was reported killed by Russian bloggers. On 14 June Kadyrov (Chechen leader) reported that one of his commanders, Adam Delimkhanov, age 53, is missing and then later denied it. This guy: Adam Delimkhanov – Wikipedia.
On 11 July LtG Oleg Tsokov was killed in Berdiansk when the Ukrainians struck the 58th Combined Arms Army command post. He was 51 years old and deputy commander of the Southern Military District. He had previously been wounded in September 2022 while commanding the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army.
On 11 July is was announced the MG Ivan Popov, commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army was relieved of command and his message of protest was published by a deputy of the State Duma the following day. See: First Prigozhin, now Popov | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
I will put any changes/updates since my last post in italics. A link to a blow up of the map is here: Wikipedia map. It is dated 22 July. The map now has three updates for 2023, Soledar on 16 January, near Orkhiv on 9 June 2023 and near Velyka Novosilka on 11 June 2023. They are also showing Bakhmut in Russian hands and Ukraine across the Dnipro River near Kherson.
Russia currently occupies five cities: Lysychansk (pop. 95,031), Severodonetsk (pop. 101,135), Mariupol (pop. 431,859), Berdyansk (pop. 107,928) and Melitopol (pop. 150,768). Kherson (pop. 283,649) was retaken by Ukraine on 11 November.
We have been looking at six major areas of operations. Only the Donbas appears to be active right now:
1. Kyiv (pop: 2,962,180): It appears that Kyiv is secure.
2. Odesa (pop: 1,015,826): Odesa has been bombed for the last few days in response to the attack on the bridge to Crimea. Civilian casualties are low, which is good. It shows that Russia was concentrating primarily on industrial and economic targets, vice civilians, although they have also taken out an classic church. Mykolaiv was also attacked. Two civilians were killed there.
The grain deal ended on 17 July. As of 17 July, the amount of grain shipped from Ukrainian ports and across the Black Sea under this initiative was 32,861,707 metric tonnes carried in 1004 ships according to posts on twitter by @exit266. Renegotiation is under way. Russia apparently wants some sanctions lifted. Also, Turkey did hand over 5 detained Mariupol defenders to Ukraine and has agreed to allow Sweden to join NATO. This does put Erdogan at odds with Putin. There may not be another grain deal and Ukraine is expanding its shipments by rail to the southwest.
Russia is claiming that they destroyed the Ukrainian 1,192-ton landing ship Yury Olefirenko, which is supposed to be Ukraine’s last warship. It was launched in 1970.
The Russian intelligence collection ship the Priazovye (3,470 tons full load) was attacked in the Black Sea by six sea-borne kamakaze drone. They were all intercepted and destroyed.
On 10 July, 6 AM, the commander of the submarine Krasnodar as executed in Krasnodar, Russia with four shots with a 9mm at close range. He was jogging in the rain. Stanislav Ryhitsky was 42. The Krasnodar conducted a missile attack against Vinnytsia in July 14 that killed 27.
Not directly related to this war, but Russian is now down to only one active Kirov class battlecruiser (the Admiral Nakhimov). They used to have four, but the two were scrapped in 2021 and now the Peter the Great (Pyotr Velikiy) is being scrapped. They are based in the Baltic (which is becoming a NATO sea).
3. Kharkiv (pop: 1,433,886): Kharkiv looks to be secure. Still, it is near the Russian border, so this can change suddenly.
4. The Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (the Donbas): Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is reporting as of 16 December that they had 4,133 soldiers killed and 17,379 wounded (4.20-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio). This includes the 13 killed and 50 wounded reported from 01.01.22 to 02.25.22. For the period of 16 – 22 December (overlapping dates on 16 December) they report 43 killed, but do not report the wounded. Through the 16th, this is 108% casualties out of an estimated initial force of 20,000. Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) is reported as of 5 April to have had 500-600 killed out of an estimated force of 14,000. This is 21% casualties, assuming a 4-to-1 killed ratio.
On the evening of 27 June, a restaurant in Kramatorsk was hit by a Russian missile killing 11. Lviv has now been hit, killing 9.
5. Mariupol (pop: 431,859): Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Google maps has updated its images of Mariupol to show the city as it is now (extensively shelled) vice how it used to look before the war.
Russia is putting 22 prisoners from Mariupol on trial. They are all members of the Azov Battalion, which Russia has designated a terrorist organization. Eight of the prisoners are woman, who are reported to have worked as cooks for the Azov Battalion. Two other prisoners who had been charged have been exchanged in prisoner exchanges.
Prisoner Exchanges: Russia has claimed that they captured 2,439 prisoners from the siege of Mariupol. Russian claimed on 30 June that they held 6,000 prisoners. Ukraine stated in early July that they had more than 7,000 missing. Now Ukraine is stating as of 30 December that Russian holds 3,400 prisoners and 15,000 Ukrainians are missing.
In 2022 there were 1,447 prisoners of war exchanged, 112 civilians and five foreigners. Of those, at least 427 were from Mariupol/Azovstal and up to 53 others were killed in captivity. Latest prisoner exchange on 8 January was for 50 prisoners. Another prisoner exchange on 4 February of 116. Some of these Ukrainian prisoners had been in captivity for almost a year. Latest prisoner exchange, on 16 February, was for 100 soldiers and one civilian for 101 Russian soldiers. 94 of them were defenders of Mariupol, including 63 soldiers from Azovstal. There was another prisoner exchange on 7 March with 130 Ukrainians exchanged for 90 Russians. This included 87 Mariupol defenders (71 from Azovstal). 35 of them were soldiers captured in Bakhmut and Soledar. Most of the Ukrainian and Russian prisoners were seriously injured.
The Ukrainian Omsbudsman has stated in late January that 800 severely wounded Ukrainians are held as POWs. He also stated that they hold 200 severely wounded Russians.
There was a prisoner exchange in early May of 42 soldiers and two civilians for what I assume was a similar number of Russians. On 7 May, Russia exchanged 45 defenders of Azovstal, including 10 officers for only just 3 pilots. I gather Russia is still holding thousands of more prisoners than Ukraine does.
Zelenskyy said on 6 June that they have recovered around 2,500 prisoners, including 370 civilians., The last count I had of Ukrainian captured was around 6,000.
There was yet another prisoner exchange on 11 June for 95 POWs.
On 8 July. the five Ukrainian Azov battalion officers who were held in Turkey in accordance with an agreement with Russia, were released to Zelenskyy to return to Ukraine. This is an odd maneuver, as it appears that Erdogan violated his agreement with Putin. I believe they were supposed to be kept in Turkey until the war was over. This will create difficulties going forward. Added to that, the American Trevor Reed, who was detained by Russia for three years, was released on 27 April 2022 and then travelled to Ukraine starting 1 November. He was wounded two weeks ago fighting for Ukraine around Bakhmut. Unfortunately, I think this all makes the argument that Russia should not be making prisoner exchanges nor releasing detained Americans.
This is a mistake. Russia still holds thousands of more prisoners than Ukraine does. Furthermore, 22 of them are still facing trials. Added to that, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia need to re-negotiate the Black Sea grain deal this week.
6. Crimea & Kherson (pop: 283,649): Kherson is now back under Ukrainian control as of 11 November. Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Also see for updates: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Due to the dam being blown, as of the end of June, the Kakhovka Reservoir has been drained by 10 meters. Only 24% of its previous surface is now covered with water. This still does not make the area a prime choice for military operations.
Weather: Kharkiv at 9 PM: It is 82 degrees (28 Celsius) and partly cloudy. Rain forecasted for five of the next ten days. 0.05″ of rain expected in the next 24 hours. While there are lots of days with rain showers this time of year the amount of rain dropped is very low. It is only temporarily affecting surface trafficability.
Kherson is 77 degrees (25 Celsius) and mostly clear. Rain forecast for the next two days. 0.2″ of rain expected in the next 24 hours.
Ukrainian Army Build-up: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Updates are provided in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Denmark and Netherlands are ordering up and buying another 14 Leopards for Ukraine. They will be arriving in January. Belgium is offering up 40-50 more M-113s. Latvia is sending Ukraine all of its helicopters and Stingers. It does make more sense geopolitically to disarm yourself now to support Ukraine, then to hold onto war material at the expense of Ukraine’s war effort.
Ukraine has lots more material on the way, including 25 Leopard IA5 (the older, less armored Leopards), 40 Marder 1A3 IFV (this adds up to a total of 100 provided by Germany). The U.S. is providing another 32 Bradleys and 32 Strikers. Bulgaria, which was initially hesitant to support Ukraine, is now providing 100 Soviet-era BTRs to Ukraine.
The U.S. had added another 32 Strykers in the latest aid package to Ukraine. Also, Spain is sending them another 4 Leopard II, including hte number of Leopards they have provided to 10.
As of 25 July, Ukraine is now using U.S. provided cluster munitions in the fighting around Bakhmut. It was being reported they were being used as early as 20 July.
Russian Army Build-up: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Prigozhin reported that 32,000 prisoners who fought for Wagner have now returned home. So far, they have only committed 83 crimes since they left his employment. He was claiming on 23 June that he has 25,000 troops.
Zelenskyy does claim that 21,000 of the Wagner Group were killed and 80,000 wounded. The math does not work on this claim.
The Wagner Group claimed this last week that they had 22,000 killed and 40,000 wounded out of a force of 78,000. They report that 49,000 of the force were convicts (meaning 29,000 were regular contracted soldiers). Some Wagner troops are moving to Belarus.
According to Putin, from May 2022 to May 2023 Russian paid the Wagner group 86 billion rubles and paid Prigozhin’s catering company (which is supplying the Russian Army) 80 billion rubles. This is over a billion U.S. dollars in both cases.
On the other hand, other people are pointing out that the now returned Wagner freed prisoners have conducted at least four murders since their return home: The Wagner Murders In Russia Are An Omen Of Deaths To Come | by Barry Gander | May, 2023 | Medium.
Opposing forces: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Economics and the Home Fronts: The complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 380 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Price of oil (Brent Crude) is creeping upwards to 83.09 as of 2:24 PM EST. Ruble remains low at 90.01 to the dollar.
On 6 May “right-wing” activist, Yevgeny Prilepin, was seriously injured near Nizhny Novgorod when his car was blown up. His bodyguard died. On 2 April, Vladlen Tartarsky, 40, a pro-war Russian blogger, was assassinated in St. Petersburg. The accidental assassin, who was also wounded, was Darya Trepova, 25. The previous war-related assassination was of Darya Dugina, 29, back on 20 August 2022. Not sure who was responsible for any of these three efforts.
There are still some political protests in Russia, with a female protester being arrested in Moscow and in Kazan. It is reported that over 100 protesters were arrested this last week: Russian police arrest more than 100 Navalny supporters, group says (msn.com).
Casualties: The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian miliary, Valerii Zaluzhny, on 21 August stated that almost 9,000 Ukrainian military have died in the war. This is a lower estimate than most people have given (although we have leaned towards the lower estimates). Not sure if these figures included militia losses (like Azov Regiment). If Ukraine lost almost 9,000, then hard to believe the Russian losses are that much higher. On 1 December a presidential advisor stated that Ukraine has lost between 10,000 and 13,000 troops killed. On 17 March, the Ukranian Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council argued that total Ukrainian losses are less than 100,000 killed and wounded. As of 24 March 1,509 bodies have been returned to Ukraine.
The U.S. estimate is that Russian casualties are now at 220,000 (killed and wounded). The U.S. estimate provided on 9 November was “well over 100,000.” Did they really loose another 100,000 troops in the last five months? For 18 November BBC/Mediazona reported that 9,001 Russians had been killed based upon media accounts, obituaries, funeral notices, and so forth. Now their count is 18,023 as of 24 March. This is a doubling of their recorded count of people who have died. This is still considerably lower than the Ukrainian claims of 173,360 Russians killed as of 31 March (which would imply 693,440 to 866,800 total casualties, which does not mesh well with the reports of forces deployed). I do have some doubt about this suddenly increase in U.S. claims, see BBC/Mediazona Figures Over Time | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org) and Russian Losses over Time | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Needless to say, if I have doubts about the U.S. DOD estimates, then I don’t buy into the Ukrainian claims of Russian casualties, or the similarly high Russian claims of Ukrainian casualties.
The various versions of the briefing books did have Ukrainian and Russian casualty figures. They estimated that Ukrainian losses were 15,500 – 17,500 killed and 124,500 – 131,000 total casualties. This estimate may be a little “light,” but it is certainly within the ball park. They appear to be using a wounded-to-killed ratio of around 7.5-to-1 for this. This is kind of high. These figures may also include missing and captured (at least 6,000 were captured).
The Russian estimates are 35,500 – 43,000 killed and 189,500 – 223,000 total casualties. This may be on the high side. Ukraine is claiming over 180,000 Russians killed, which I think can be dismissed. BBC/Mediazona reports as of 7 April are counting 19,688 Russian killed by name. They appear to be using a wounded-to-killed ratio of around 5-to-1 for this.
Mediazona, through Dr. Olga Ivshina (BBC) @oivshina stated on 25 April that “…if we have 20,000 names we think the real toll may be around 40,000 KIA.” The exchange is here: The Dupuy Institute (TDI) on Twitter: “@oivshina Question: Do you mean that you suspect the actual count of dead is 1.5 times the count on your list, or is it 2.0 times the count on your list?” / Twitter.
These wounded-to-killed ratios open up a lot of questions. 1) why are they different for the Ukrainian vice the Russians, 2) I have been saying it is at least 4-to-1. They are using figures higher than that. What is that based upon?, and 3) some people on the “twittersphere” have criticized me for even using a 4-to-1 ratio and have used lower figures than that. Is it time for them to revise their estimating practices?
John Kirby, the NSC spokesman, said on 1 May that Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties since December, including over 20,000 killed (implying a 4-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio). Half of the killed are from the Wagner Group.
The previous, more detailed older casualty write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 394 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
The UN is reporting as of 16 July at least 9,287 civilians confirmed dead in the war. They are reporting another 74 killed from 1 – 16 July 2023. 11 of these were in territory occupied by the Russian Federation. Updated chart from the UN provided the following chart showing civilian losses by month:
More than 50,000 people have died in this conflict: 26,801 or more (Russian Army – Mediazona count as of 30 June) + 16,000 or more (Ukrainian Army – U.S. DOD estimate) + 9,287 (Civilians) + 4,176 (DPR in 2022) + 600 (LPR April 2022) = 56,864. It is probably in excess of 70,000 total deaths depending on Ukrainian and Russian military deaths and the real count of civilian losses. Suspect the BBC/Mediazona count is off (undercounted) by at least 50% and they say it is by a factor of two. The last figure from Ukraine of 13,000 was dated 1 December, so is also now probably off by at least 50%. Mediazona is now reporting that Donetsk and Lugansk losses were in excess of 8,000. If the Russian Army losses are indeed above 50,000 and Ukrainian Army losses are similarly high, then we could be looking at over 100,000 killed in this war. Another recent estimate done by Mediazona, based upon excess deaths, show that by the end of May at least 47,000 Russians have died in the war. This is not out of line with their other estimates. See: A new study finds that 47,000 Russian combatants have died in Ukraine (economist.com) and How many Russians have died in Ukraine? Data show what Moscow hides – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).
An eighth American has been killed in Ukraine, Nick Maimer, 45, of Boise. He was a former Green Beret who was training Ukrainians. He was hit by artillery sometime in May.
Ammo: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
The U.S. is reporting that it is now producing 24,000 155mm shells a month. This is up from 14,000 before the war.
Air Power: Previous discussion of air power is in the Day 443 post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 443 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
On 13 May, Russia lost 4 aircraft in one day, two Mi-8 helicopters, one Su-34 and one Su-35. This was their highly daily losses since the first month of the war. They were shot down just inside of the Russian territory, in Bryansk province.
Missile Defense: Discussion of previous missiles attack is in the Day 443 post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 443 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It was updated in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
End of the War: Looks like this war will be continuing onto until at least fall of 2023. Complete write-up of this section is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 380 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Atrocities: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). Updates are provided in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 471 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org).
Ukrainian reforms: Complete write-up is available in this post: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 355 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). The Ukranian defense minister appears to be staying.
U.S. Support for Ukraine: Write-up on U.S. support for Ukraine is in the Day 443 post here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 443 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). It is going to be a long campaign season until November 2024, so certainly we will revisit this issue at some point. The total amount of support committed by the U.S. to Ukraine is $133 Billion.
The U.S. resolved its “debt crisis” with the debt limit being suspended until 2025. Defense spending is capped at $886 billion, or 3.5% increase over the previous year. This matches the current administrations budget request. Spending on defense is limited to a 1% growth in 2025, or up to $895 billion.
A few dates to keep in mind for the American political campaigns: 1) There will almost certainly be a third indictment of Donald Trump soon, 2) the first (of two?) Republican primary debates is set for 23 August, 3) the Iowa caucuses will be in mid-January 2024 (date has not been set yet), 4) the New Hampshire primary is scheduled for 13 February 2024, 5) 24 February is SC primary, then MI, 6) on 5 March 14 states will hold their primaries and between 9 – 23 March another 15 states/territories will hold their primaries. The Republican nominee could be decided by then, 7) 25 March is the trial date for Donald Trump’s Stormy Daniel’s related case, 8) 20 May is the trial date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case, 9) last Republican primary is 4 June 2024. I actually do think this is war related news as the currently the two leading Republican presidential candidates do not support Ukraine.
Former VP and Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence was in Ukraine in July. He fully supports the war effort. On 13 July, the House took a vote on cutting off aid to Ukraine. The vote was 358-70 rejecting the amendment. All 70 opposed votes were Republican. See: Here are the 70 House Republicans who voted to cut off all US military aid to Ukraine (msn.com). There are 222 Republicans in the house, so this is a minority opinion in the party supported maybe a third of Republicans in the house. It is also the opinion that appears to be held by their two presidential nomination front runners.
Also, see the Day 443 posts for previous reports on the EU, NATO, Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh. On 20 May, Lavrov’s daughter (Lavrov is the foreign minister of Russia) attended a wedding in Georgia. There were protests by the Georgians, with her car egged. She was forced to leave because of the public reaction.
Belarus: Belarus is back in the news as its dictator, Lukashenko, is ill. Also, Belarus has signed an agreement on 25 May with Russia about basing tactical nuclear weapons there, with some sources claiming they have been deployed there. I still doubt that they will join the war. Belarus has 60,000 troops and now they are trying to recruit another 20,000. This is from a country that the government was almost overthrown two years ago by popular acclaim. Ukraine has an 891-kilometer border (554 miles) with Belarus, so Ukraine must maintain some forces there. Reports are now saying that only about 4,000 Russian troops are in Belarus, and no nuclear forces are there.
On 16 June Putin did announce that tactical nuclear weapons have been deployed to Belarus. One unconfirmed (and unconfirmable) estimate is that it is 10-12 68 KT weapons. On 20 June the head of Ukrainian intelligence said that no nuclear weapons have yet been moved to Belarus. Since then, Lukashenko has said that nukes have been deployed to Belarus.
NATO: As of 4 April, Finland is a member of NATO. Sweden is still awaiting approval from Hungary and Turkey. As of 10 July, it looks like Erdogan of Turkey has finally agreed to let Sweden into NATO. Hungary is not expected to block this. Erdogan, age 69, won the election on 28 May with 52% of the vote. Voter turn-out was 84%. Next election is in five years. See Day 443 for more info. Meanwhile, the head of NATO is supporting renewal of talks about Turkey joining the EU.
Sections on Kazakhstan, European Support, Iran and Miscellaneous were last reported in the blog post for day 408 here: The Russo-Ukrainian War – Day 408 | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org). They have been removed from this post.