Ukraine Destroys 93 Russian Aircraft And Scores Of Troops According To Report

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According to authorities in Ukraine, those defending the country against the invasion recently launched by Russian leader Vladimir Putin have wiped out around 14,200 Russian military personnel — which would obviously be a major dent in the invading force and could help explain why Russian soldiers have struggled to secure the strategic victories they’ve been after, such as control of the capital, Kyiv. Ukrainian defenders also claim to have wiped from the battlefield over 90 planes, more than 110 helicopters, 450 tanks, 205 artillery pieces, almost 880 vehicles, and a whole lot more. Conservative estimates from U.S. intelligence officials back up the notion that Russia has already lost thousands and thousands of soldiers — The New York Times recently cited a conservative U.S. intel estimate of over 7,000 Russian troop deaths.

There’s been reporting about Putin potentially bringing in fighters from Syria to accommodate for these expansive losses, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad having “promised to provide Russia with 40,000 fighters for the war in Ukraine,” according to Ukrinform, a Ukrainian government-backed news source. But that potential scenario of a large influx of Syrians (rather than the more limited arrival that has apparently already unfolded) hasn’t changed the basic reality on the ground in Ukraine: those defending the country have scored significant strategic successes against the invaders so far, although not without soberingly devastating impacts on Ukraine’s civilian population, thousands of whom have already died. Going forward, the reasonably imagined high number of Russian troops who have been wounded could also have major effects on Russia’s strategic readiness.

Evelyn Farkas, who was a top Defense Department official in the Obama administration, noted to The New York Times that losses “like this affect morale and unit cohesion, especially since these soldiers don’t understand why they’re fighting… Your overall situational awareness decreases. Someone’s got to drive, someone’s got to shoot” — although (as she noted) it’s not just the ground where the war in Ukraine has been being fought. Russia has also utilized the skies to attack Ukraine — and a top commander of Russian paratroopers is also among those recently reported to have been killed amid the Ukrainian defense. Colonel Sergei Sukharev, identified by the Evening Standard as commander of the 331st Guards Parachute Assault Regiment from Kostroma, is the commander in question, adding to the list of Russian military leaders who’ve died in the fighting in Ukraine. Four Russian generals are reportedly among the fatalities sustained there.

As previously reported on this site, the suffering endured by the Ukrainian population has been immense. The citizens of Mariupol have faced devastating attacks from Russian invaders — the death toll there has already surpassed 2,500, with Russian strikes having impacted access to utilities such as running water and supplies like medicines. Someone associated with the medical outreach organization Doctors Without Borders said people had died in the city due to lacking the necessary medications, and it’s in Mariupol that a young child was reported to have died, alone, from dehydration. It’s also in Mariupol that a theater where hundreds had been taking shelter was recently struck — some 130 had been rescued as of Friday, but hundreds remained apparently trapped beneath the rubble. Lyudmila Denisova, Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, said Friday that “according to our data there are still more than 1,300 people there who are in these basements, in that bomb shelter.” Mariupol was also the site of a Russian attack on a maternity ward — and in addition, it’s where Russian personnel were recently reported to have taken hundreds hostage in a hospital.