Ukrainian authorities say they “destroyed 47 units of Russian equipment in Donbas on June 4,” as summarized by The Kyiv Independent. Also per The Kyiv Independent, that list “includes a downed K-52 helicopter, three tanks, 11 armored vehicles, 26 unarmored vehicles, and four artillery pieces, according to Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation.”
The Donbas region in Ukraine is in the country’s east, and it encompasses the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which Russian forces are attempting to completely seize. Severodonetsk, which sits in Ukraine’s Luhansk region and had a population before the war of over 100,000, making it a fairly sizable city, has recently become a particularly high-profile site of ongoing fighting. “Over the last 24 hours, Ukrainian forces have counterattacked in the contested city of Sieverodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, likely blunting the operational momentum Russian forces previously gained through concentrating combat units and firepower,” the U.K. Ministry of Defense said in an early Sunday update regarding Ukraine.
Per that same U.K. source, forces on Russia’s side that have been engaged in the Severodonetsk region include “personnel mobilised from the reserve of Russian-led Separatist Forces of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic. These troops are poorly equipped and trained, and lack heavy equipment in comparison to regular Russian units.” The U.K. defense authority attributed the Luhansk troops’ presence to a likely hope to tamp down on the impacts sustained by regular Russian military personnel. The so-called Luhansk People’s Republic is one of two self-declared independent republics in the Donbas region. Both (the other is in Donetsk) are aligned with Russia, which offered formal recognition of the independence of these areas shortly before beginning the February 24 invasion starting the current war. The supposed independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk republics isn’t broadly recognized. Their existence broadly connects to Russian destabilization efforts in Ukraine.
So far, Russian forces seem to have sustained substantial losses in both equipment and personnel. Ukrainian authorities claim to have killed more than 31,000 Russian troops. In one intercepted phone conversation between a pair of Russian military colonels, one (Maksim Vlasov) said: “There are horrible losses of our guys, fuck… And you know, I am familiar with military history a bit, and I compare this to the fucking Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. It’s fucking one and the same.” In that war, the Russian military saw apparent deaths of over 126,000 of its troops. Losses amid the present conflict already reached one historic level — the Moskva, a large Russian warship sunk by Ukraine, was reportedly the largest Russian warship sunk in war since World War II. Russian leaders have broadly refused to acknowledge the widely understood scope of their expansive losses in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, impacts on Ukraine’s civilian population remain devastating. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says over 200,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly relocated to Russia since the current conflict began. Zelenskyy remarked that Russia’s point, in part, is to “make deportees forget about Ukraine and not be able to return.” Inside Ukraine, impacts on civilians also remain catastrophic — per The Guardian, “a person among several coordinating burials in [Mariupol]… said they believed the [death toll] was closer to 50,000.” That’s only in Mariupol, which Russian forces control.