Ukrainian armed forces have destroyed 19 Russian tanks, two Su-25 attack jets and one Mi-8 helicopter over the last 24 hours, according to the latest updates from the country’s military.
On Friday, Ukraine’s air forces carried out 24 strikes on Russian targets where Moscow troops had gathered weapons and military equipment, including its air defense systems, the Ukrainian armed forces said.
“Over the past day, units of the Defense Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of Vodyane, Kamianka and Nevelske settlements of the Donetsk oblast,” it wrote on Facebook on Saturday, before adding that “our air defense units shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft and one Mi-8 helicopter.”
On the other hand, Ukraine’s armed forces report that Russia launched “four rocket and up to 25 air strikes,” and “more than 70 attacks from rocket salvo systems” over the last 24 hours. Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Ministry of Defense for comment.
Releasing it’s daily assessment of Russian losses, Ukraine said it had also destroyed five drones, nine artillery systems and 23 armored personnel vehicles in the latest 24 hour period.
In the eight months since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukraine claims Russia has lost 70,250 troops, 2,659 tanks and 273 helicopters, among other military equipment.
These numbers are considered by experts to be likely inflated, but data from independent think tanks and Western intelligence confirms that Russia has suffered significant losses in Ukraine.
Oryx, a website documenting equipment losses, says it has photo and video evidence of 1,412 Russian tanks which have been destroyed, damaged or captured in Ukraine since February 24, on top of 54 Russian helicopters lost in the country.
Oryx said 23 of these helicopters were Ka-52s, the same type of attack helicopter that the U.K. Ministry of Defence recently said accounted for half of Moscow’s helicopter losses in Ukraine.
Forbes’ journalist David Axe said that Russia is currently losing ten tanks a day, double the losses it was suffering before Ukrainian troops started twin counteroffensive actions in south and eastern Ukraine seven weeks ago and significantly more than Ukraine, which is estimated to be losing just two a day.
Russia’s losses have been widely attributed to the low morale that has reportedly been affecting its troops, which is said to have been exacerbated by the arrival of unprepared, under-equipped reservists who have joined the army with little training after Putin’s partial mobilization.
On Friday, Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared the end of the military call-up.
According to the Russian defense minister, Moscow has already successfully mobilized 300,000 men, 82,000 of whom have already been deployed in Ukraine—41,000 of whom in combat unit, Putin said—and 218,000 of whom are currently training at Russian training grounds.
The Russian president acknowledged that the newly mobilized reservists have experienced logistical and supply issues.
But according to Washington-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) he then “falsely asserted that these problems affected only the ‘initial stage’ of mobilization and that these problems are now solved.”
Putin concluded that the country must “draw necessary conclusions” from the issues met with reservists in Ukraine and must modernize “the entire system of military registration and enlistment offices” and “think over and make adjustments to the structure of all components of the Armed Forces, including the Ground Forces.”
The ISW writes that the mobilization of 300,000 reservists “is unlikely to decisively impact Russian combat power.”
The 41,000 “poorly trained” reservists mentioned by Putin as already deployed in combat units in Ukraine “may have temporarily stiffened Russian defensive lines,” but “these reservists have not yet faced the full weight of a major and prepared Ukrainian counteroffensive thrust. The deployment has not significantly increased Russian combat power,” the ISW said.
The think tank added that the deployment of an additional 110,000 mobilized men to combat units “remains unlikely to change the trajectory of the war.”