Across fighting that apparently took place on September 3 amid renewed counteroffensive operations by Ukrainian troops, Ukrainian leadership say that their country’s personnel killed some 450 Russian soldiers participating in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with particularly heavy losses in the Donetsk region.
A focus of the recently touted counteroffensive operations is the Kherson region, which is in Ukraine’s south and was one of the first areas where invading Russian troops made advances when the currently unfolding conflict, in which the Russian military has inflicted devastation across Ukraine, began in February. Russian troops seized the city of Kherson, which is the regional capital, and a Ukrainian military source told CNN that the city is a main target of local efforts by Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian personnel broke through Russian defenses at “multiple” points in Kherson-area frontlines, according to available info reported on by CNN. In public comments, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy maintains an aim of reclaiming all Ukrainian territory taken by Russia — including the Crimean peninsula and areas in the eastern part of the country occupied by Putin-backed separatists.
In Ukraine, military leaders claim the total number of Russian soldiers killed in fighting so far is some 49,500. Ukrainian military officials also keep tallies of Russian equipment swept up in Ukrainian defenses, and according to Ukrainian numbers, Russian troops already lost over 2,000 tanks, over 230 aircraft, and a lot more. In the course of the war, certain pieces of Russian equipment have evidently been recovered by Ukrainian forces in working order.
As for outside support for the Ukrainian numbers, a recent report in The New York Times cited a U.S. intelligence and military estimate of 500 Russian troops dying or becoming wounded each day. “I think it’s safe to suggest that the Russians have probably taken 70 or 80,000 casualties in less than six months,” U.S. Defense Department official Colin Kahl recently said. “Casualties” includes soldiers who were wounded. “They have made some incremental gains in the east, although not very much in the last couple of weeks, but that has come at extraordinary cost to the Russian military because of how well the Ukrainian military has performed and all the assistance the Ukrainian military has gotten,” Kahl added. Two U.S. officials indicated the estimate Kahl cited earlier last month included an estimation of some 20,000 Russian troop deaths, although it’s obviously impossible to prove that estimate at this stage of the conflict — and there’s clearly one side that’s more trustworthy than the other one. Even if Donald Trump can’t figure out which way is up when it comes to foreign policy, circumstances are clear.