Security expert: Russia losing around 1,500 soldiers per day in Ukraine war
Russian military losses in Ukraine amount to around 500 killed and 1,000 wounded on a daily basis, security expert Rainer Saks says. Even for a nation and a military the size of Russia's, these represent very high numbers, Saks adds.
Appearing on Vikerraadio's "Vikerhommik" show Monday morning, Saks said that most of the current, large-scale battles are centered on Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, and are largely engagements of attrition.
Saks said the situation now is: "Something similar to the situation in Mariupol was at the beginning of the war, with the difference being now there is no danger of Ukrainian troops being encircled in Bakhmut."
"Russia loses 500 men a day, fallen, plus its wounded. Given that in this war, the ratio is 2:1 (wounded to dead-ed.), that means 500 more wounded are added per day, bringing a total of at least 1,500 men."
The figure can rise even higher once the walking wounded, the sick, prisoners, deserters etc. are factored in, Saks added.
1,500 men a day is no small figure for Russia either, and Saks expressed surprise that despite this, Russia continues to be on the offensive at the pace it has been doing.
"A sheer mass of people alone is not useful. You need to arm and train them, and the quality of this is bad in Russia. At the same time, Ukraine's quality is increasing, as it is training up its reserves. So I would not worry about a lack of personnel in Ukraine. The main issue for them remains weapons and ammunition," Saks continued.
The Ukrainian General Staff has stated that Russia has lost more than 180,000 men in the war so far, sine it began in February 2022. As for Ukraine's losses, Saks highlighted the recent words from the country's Minister of Defense, that its front-line losses have been smaller than the number of dead in the Turkish earthquake. In February, where the death toll was around 50,000.
Saks said messages from Russia stating that they were again boosting the role of units belonging to notorious mercenary outfit the Wagner Group represented an information operation. Wagner is part of the Russian armed forces and operates on their orders, he added, while its replenishment is mostly due to the heavy losses it, too, has suffered.
Saks said that the arrival of spring will lead to renewed military activitie in Ukraine, adding Russia may go on the offensive in order to strengthen its positions ahead of a putative spring offensive, if that comes. At the same time, Russia's reserves are so scarce that its options for initiating new offensives in new zones are limited, Saks added.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Urmet Kook