In a little more than 13 days, the Russians have lost “over 12 thousand troops,” according to the Kyiv Independent’s Twitter feed which has become a must-follow. If the 12,000 number, references killed in action (It only counts them as “losses”) and not all casualties, it represents 20% of the entire number of U.S. soldiers killed in action during the entire Vietnam War.
Whether the numbers can be relied upon entirely or not, even if they were to be half correct, it would be a staggering number: The Independent says Ukrainian forces have also destroyed nearly 50 planes, two boats, and hundreds of tanks and artillery pieces over the past two weeks.
These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s losses as of March 8, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/eZHQUQCZlX
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 8, 2022
The losses are so staggering that they prompted a response from the former leader of the American 7th Army, Mark Hertling:
If these published accounts by the @KyivIndependent are even close, they are disastrous. Having been the US 7th Army Commander, if I were the Russian Combined Arms Army Commander I’d be very worried right now. (Especially since one of the “boats” is a warship.)
Hertling also pointed out another fact, as mentioned by Brianna Keilar this morning:
The great @brikeilar asked about Putin’s plan to recruit fighters from Syria. Fighters who don’t know the terrain, the situation, or the type of fight they would be thrown into. It’s a propaganda ploy to instill fear. And another dumb move by Vlad. Shows he’s losing big.
The great @brikeilarcnn asked about Putin’s plan to recruit fighters from Syria.
Fighters who don’t know the terrain, the situation, or the type of fight they would be thrown into.
It’s a propaganda ploy to instill fear. And another dumb move by Vlad. Shows he’s losing big.
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) March 8, 2022
Getting accurate numbers during the midst of warfare is notoriously difficult and these approximations are likely exaggerated, but as the General said, “if they are even close…” it would mean that Putin is losing this war quicker and more thoroughly than he could have ever dreamed.
This morning, President Joe Biden will announce that the United States will prohibit all importation of Russian oil to the U.S. In and of itself, it represents a huge blow to Russia and will be that much more so if other countries follow.
Additionally, MSNBC just announced that the United States is also considering supplying aged Russian fighter jets – jets that Ukrainians know how to fly -to the Ukrainian forces (According to MSNBC). There is concern that Putin will see the move as a serious escalation by the United States, in supplying airpower.
Unbelievably, and tragically, it seems as though the best that Putin can hope for is a stalemate because, as the General said, the Russians have not even cleared large cities in close combat, where both sides would suffer even greater losses. Putin doesn’t seem to have a path to victory. One wonders whether the threat at home (to Putin) will soon grow as large as the threat in Ukraine.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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