11 Jun 2022

Ukraine War: 100 Day Survey


Deceased Russian Spetznaz sniper.

Philip Wasielewski at the Foreign Policy Research Institute looks at where things are after 100 days, and discusses future probabilities.

The Russian military is expending thousands of lives in Donbas to make incremental, almost World War I–style, advances over terrain that has no real strategic value. Russia is fighting a war of attrition. In the past, Russia and the Soviet Union had the manpower to make this an effective strategy. However, Russia today no longer has the mechanisms to recruit, train, equip, officer, and deploy substantial new military formations.

In early April, I estimated Russia had suffered approximately 10,000 soldiers killed in action (KIA) and a total of 35,000–38,000 casualties. It is still hard to estimate losses, but if Russian killed-in-action figures are now, per British intelligence estimates, roughly 15,000, then total casualties by early June could be approximately 50,000 men.

Who will replace them? The 130,000 Russian conscripts called up on April 1, 2022, are not supposed to go to a war zone (but many will). Putin, probably fearing social unrest, passed up the opportunity on Victory Day on May 9 to declare war and announce a general mobilization of Russian manpower.

Without a general mobilization, how can the Russian army meet wartime requirements and replace its losses? As word of horrible combat conditions reaches the population, recruiting of contract soldiers will suffer. It probably already has, based on the extreme decision to allow up to 50-year-old men to volunteer. Many contract soldiers are already announcing their intention to leave the army or refuse to serve in the “special military operation” that Moscow claims is not a war. Increased conscription cannot make up for recruiting shortfalls in a country where evading military service is practically a national sport.

If enough soldiers are found, who will lead them? Even before the war, Russia was having a difficult time retaining junior officers. In this war, officers of all levels have borne an extraordinary brunt of casualties. Many officer cadets have graduated early to participate in the war. Furthermore, who will train the new soldiers? Basic and advanced training in Russia’s army is done at the individual unit level, but many training officers and noncommissioned officers have already deployed with their units to Ukraine. This leaves limited cadres at home to instruct new conscripts. Metaphorically speaking, the Russian army is eating its seed corn.

If enough enlisted men and junior officers can be found to serve as replacements for the tens of thousands of casualties, can Russia equip them with modern weapons? Equipment losses are catastrophic. The Oryx website, using conservative, thoroughly documented confirmation techniques, estimates that as of the end of May 2022, Russia had lost 741 tanks, 1,342 armored/infantry fighting vehicles, and 27 fixed-wing combat aircraft. Actual losses are likely higher.

Besides these losses, vehicles, airplanes, and helicopters involved in three months of nonstop fighting require major refitting, which is unlikely to happen while combat operations are underway. War can exhaust machines as well as men, and without proper maintenance, existing hardware will become incapable of supporting operations. New replacements for destroyed equipment will not be coming. Russia’s main tank factories have shut down due to sanctions, which have also hobbled its aircraft industry. T-62 tanks have been pulled out of reserve, but half-century-old tanks are no answer to modern anti-tank weapons.[24] Decades of munitions production have been used up in three months, and the decline in the use of guided and cruise missiles indicates that precision-guided weapons are in short supply.

Ukraine is also facing serious military difficulties. It has not concentrated enough forces in Donbas to match Russia’s current quantitative edge, and it too is suffering high casualties. The previous article in early April estimated that Ukraine had suffered approximately 3,100 killed in action and 16,000–18,000 casualties of all types. On April 16, President Zelensky announced that Ukraine had suffered between 2,500 and 3,000 killed in action and an additional 10,000 wounded. Extrapolating from these figures to the present, Ukrainian military KIA figures could be approaching 6,000 men and approximately 25,000 total casualties due to the high intensity of the battles of the Donbas and Mariupol. Per Oryx, Ukraine has lost 186 tanks, 276 armored/infantry fighting vehicles, and 22 fixed-wing combat aircraft, but these again are conservative figures. Attrition warfare is cutting both ways. The winner may be the side that lasts just a moment longer than the other.

There are strategic differences between Russian and Ukrainian losses. Ukraine is in a better position to replenish its losses of men and materiel. It can afford to trade some territory for time to assimilate Western supplies. With incoming weapons from the West and the training of new volunteers, the Ukrainian army will grow in numbers and capabilities, while the Russian army is unlikely to. When ready, Ukraine will have the forces to counterattack. The Croatian army did the same after losing territory in 1992 to Serbian forces. By 1995, with Western tutoring and supplies, Croatia had rebuilt its army and counterattacked, forcing the Serbs out of the Krajina region within a week. Ukraine could play a similar “long game.”


4 Feedbacks on "Ukraine War: 100 Day Survey"

bob sykes

Beyond asinine. Ukraine lost about 10 to 15 million people after the coup and before the war, and has lost another 5 to 10 million since the war began. From a total population of 45 million before the coup, Ukraine as fallen to about 25 million. The people who left are young, and most male. Only the old and sick stayed.

Right now, Ukraine is losing about 1,000 total casualties per day. Its front lines are being filled out with older, middle aged, untrained, poorly equipped militia.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute, like Brookings, Rand, the Institute for war research, et al., is a neocon propaganda agency. Philip Wasielewski is one of their shills. Their basic modus operandi is to take theKiev regime’s propaganda and regurgitate it.

You might remember that back on April 1 it was announced by the shills that Russia had run out of most types of ammunition. A little while later we were told that fully one-third of the entire Russian army had been killed or wounded, that literally thousands of Russian tanks and trucks had been destroyed, and that Ukraine was driving the Russia’s out.

Russia is winning the war, and will win it. In order to spare its own troops, it is conducting an artillery war (using guns and ammunition it ran out of two months ago). Ukrainian positions are systematically reduced, and the Russian infantry rounds up the survivors.

At some point the war will end, and Russia will partition Ukraine as it sees fit. No doubt it will annex all the regions that are predominately ethnic Russian, perhaps the whole coast line up to Transnistria and everything east of the Dnieper.

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania all have territorial claims in western Ukraine, and they might rip off some chunks, too.


Clearly a war of attrition and no one is releasing the score. It seems clear that Russia invaded the Ukraine to control the gas, oil, coal reserves that threatened Putin’s strangle hold on European fuel supplies and to control the Black Sea Coast where there might be gas and oil imports from the mid-East. The Ukraine and “Russia” have history. In the 1930s, the Russians/Soviets starved 4-12 Million “Kulaks” to death (Holodomor) and currently, Russian “lawmakers” (sic) talk of plans to murder at least 2 million more to properly “de-Nazify” (pacify) the area. The Ukraine has a reason to keep fighting.

Even NATO seems to have awakened. Major NATO countries such as Poland, Germany, Hungary have been victims of the Russians/Soviets and seem happy to bleed the Russians in the fields of the Ukraine. It is a complex game.

Gerard vanderleun

Russia is winning and will continue to win until the Ukraine gives it up or until it manages to pull the West down with it into the hole. This stuff is just smoke blown up the ass in great and unremitting quantities.

“How Low Can You Go? – Kunstler “Joe Biden’s” proxy war against Russia in Ukraine isn’t working out. It was flamboyantly stupid from the get-go. We deliberately broke the Minsk agreements for a cease-fire in the Donbas to goad the Russians into action. NATO didn’t have the troops or the political mojo to back up its US-inspired bluster. Our financial warfare blew back in our faces and actually benefited the Russian economy and its currency, the ruble. The billions of dollars in weapons we’re sending into the war are easily interdicted in transport, or else are getting loose in a world of non-state maniacs ranging from the Taliban to al Qaeda to drug cartels.

Meanwhile, Russia steadfastly grinds out a victory on-the-ground that will leave it in control of the Black Sea and will reveal the USA’s lost capacity to impose its will around the world. In other words, our Ukraine project “to weaken Russia” brought on an epochal shift in the balance of power to our enormous disadvantage. This is on top of more than twenty years of US military fiascos from Afghanistan, to Iraq, to North Africa, to Syria which demonstrated our reckless disregard for human life and a gross inability to carry out a mission. This aggregate failure and display of weakness leaves us vulnerable to Chinese aggression in the Pacific. There is even spooky chatter now about China venturing to invade Australia, Japan, and the USA mainland. Yes, really.”


This “It’s Joe Biden’s proxy war against Russia” stuff is horseshit. The duke of Moscow was never the legitimate ruler of more civilized, more European peoples and states added by force and constant aggression to an Empire that was always evil. Nor were his Soviet successor despots. Putin shamelessly violated the 1994 Budapest Memorandum guaranteeing Ukraine’s sovereignty and borders in return for Ukraine relinquishing her nuclear weapons by seizing the Crimea in 2014 and by instigating separatism in Eastern Ukraine and by constant subversion and meddling in Ukrainian electoral politics. Putin obviously also outrageously violated enormously important post-WWII norms by starting a new war of aggression in Europe.

All this Buchananite Isolationist malarkey is a recrudescence of the folly of the American Right in the lead-up to WWII. Appeasing aggressors inevitably encourages them to proceed to further aggressions. If Putin is permitted to succeed in Ukraine, he will surely go on to try to take further former Soviet Imperial possessions now part of NATO, and like Chamberlain, who chose Dishonor faced with the choice of Dishonor or War, we will have Dishonor and we will also get War anyway.


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