I heard a figure of between 28% and 30% casualties (a staggering number) among the forces that the Russians committed. No distinction behind that as to the exact meaning of "casualties" in this regard.
The 30 percent estimate is off a base of an estimated 150,000 troops. A 30 percent troop loss would be killed, wounded, missing, deserted. The 30 percent equipment loss would be destroyed, abandoned, captured.
In 2021, Russia had a total of 170 battalion tactical groups (BTG). (According to Wiki) A typical BTG has 800-1000 men, and is comprised of armor, mechanized infantry, and artillery units. Russia started the invasion with about 120 BTGs, and after heavy losses, reinforced with an additional 10-20 BTGs. Currently, the number of BTGs is estimated by US defense officials to be 106. Some of these are at substantially reduced strength, with ranks filled by replacements of untrained conscripts, members of private militias. Most of the BTG have been operating at a high combat tempo for at least eight weeks. This is exhausting, and compounds the already widespread low morale, and reluctance to fight.
The Russian army has no reserves at this juncture. Belarus is unwilling to supplement the Russian forces with its own units. Basically, the high rate of attrition means that the Russian army is running out of soldiers, and no ready means of replacing them.
Post by Pakachoag Phreek on May 17, 2022 15:47:36 GMT -5
Excerpts from the May 11 assessment by military officers at the Scowcroft Center at the Atlantic Council.
Drive to the Russian border. Ukrainian attacks northeast of Kharkiv continue to drive Russian forces back. At its current rate of advance, we assess that Ukraine could reach the Russian border in a few weeks or less.
Comment: Ukraine reached the border northeast of Kharkiv on May 15
Sanctions take a bite. Widespread financial sanctions and export controls are beginning to cripple Russia’s ability to produce new combat systems. Russia’s two primary tank plants have shut down due to a lack of components required for production. Reduced access to foreign-made computer chips and integrated circuits has proven especially troublesome for Russia. Particularly, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest chipmaker, halted semiconductor exports to Russia in line with Taiwan’s sanctions.
Comment: From Politico. "The Ukrainian government reports that Russia’s two major tank plants have halted work due to lack of foreign components,” Kendler said. “Even Russian car maker Lada has shut down production as U.S. and partner countries’ export controls have deprived the company of necessary parts and supplies.”....In two other examples, Baikal Electronics — a Russian semiconductor company and computer manufacturer — has been cut off from the integrated circuits it needs to support its domestic communications equipment, while Taiwanese company TSMC’s exit from the Russia market has deprived Moscow of access to “Elbrus chips” widely used in Russian intelligence and military systems, Kendler added."
Russia already had low inventories and production of 'smart' munitions because of post-Crimea sanctions imposed in 2014.
As of May 9, 85 of the United States’ 90 pledged 155mm M777 Howitzer long-range artillery pieces are in Ukraine, and over 300 Ukrainian troops have already been trained on the system. Just 17 days after the United States announced the transfer of 12 Howitzer systems—and just 10 days since that number was bumped to 90—the weapons delivery demonstrates the increased speed of US assistance. Additionally, 20 of the pledged 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical UASs have been delivered to Ukraine just 10 days after their transfer was announced—and 20 Ukrainian troops have already been trained on the system. We assess that the rapid delivery of the heavy artillery and precision UASs is having a tangible effect on the battlefield by countering Russian numerical superiority in forces and fires.
On May 6, video footage appeared to confirm the first Ukrainian combat use of the “kamikaze” UAS in the Kharkiv oblast, destroying a Russian machine gun position. On May 8 a video showed Ukrainian forces towing an M777 Howitzer in the Odesa oblast, and on May 9 a video demonstrated Ukrainian forces firing an M777 in the Donbas region. This anecdotal evidence hints at the continued effectiveness of the delivery of heavy military equipment to Ukrainian forces by the United States and its allies and partners, and the agility and efficacy of Ukraine in rapidly integrating and employing these systems. We assess the Kremlin’s inability to halt—or even slow—Western deliveries of military equipment is affecting its own success in Donbas and across Ukraine. As long as Ukraine can receive offensive weapons, it can counter Russian force and fire superiority, prevent Russian offensive momentum, and inflict sizable personnel and equipment losses on Russia.
As our last assessment predicted, the United States and its allies and partners are winning the race to resupply Ukraine, with heavy weapons and precision fires continuing to flow to the Ukrainian front lines. Ukrainian forces are using these systems to great effect across the country, and especially to blunt Russian momentum in the Donbas region. The Ukrainian counteroffensive around Kharkiv has been more effective than any Russian offensive in over a month, and Ukrainian forces continue to push their Russian counterparts away from the city and back across the border into Russia. Russia’s offensive momentum has also stalled in the south, as Russia has been unable to overrun the remaining Mariupol resistance fighters in the Azovstal steel plant. Russia continues to conduct missile attacks on Odesa and threaten larger military action against the city, but it is unlikely the Kremlin will embark on a major new offensive until it regains its footing in Donbas.
Comment: The U.S. military's logistics operation has been phenomenal, IMO.
Phoenix Ghost is a kamikaze-type drone, that is not yet deployed to the U.S. military. Its capabilities are classified. As it was developed by the US Air Force, it possibly has a longer range, higher speed, greater loitering time, bigger warhead than the Switchblade drones. Phoenix Ghost may present a smaller radar signature, to avoid detection, hence the name 'Ghost'.
The Switchblades were developed for the Army and Marine Corps, and the original Switchblade model proved to be highly effective in Afghanistan. The original Switchblade is ineffective against armor. The second-generation Switchblade is much heavier, with a payload similar to the highly effective Javelin anti-tank missile. The second generation Switchblades are being rushed into production, and have not yet reached Ukraine. Its quite possible that units originally produced for demonstration and testing were sent to Ukraine.
An Excalibur 'smart' round for the 155 mm howitzer has a unit cost of $125-150,000, has a max range of 25-35 miles, with a very high probability of hitting within 3-4 meters of the target. Given the unit cost, clearly its use will be restricted to high-value targets. The Ukrainians are using drones to do target spotting and correction. The Russians not so much.