In its latest intelligence update, posted on Wednesday, the British Ministry of Defence said that Russia has not disclosed the total number of its military casualties in Ukraine since March 25.
Casualty rate at around 55%
However, the pro-Russian self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) last Friday said that 2,128 of its troops had been killed in action and 8,897 wounded, the UK analysts noted.
They wrote: “The DPR casualty rate is equivalent to around 55 percent of its original force, which highlights the extraordinary attrition Russian and pro-Russian forces are suffering in the Donbas.”
“On both sides, the ability to generate and deploy reserve units to the front is likely becoming increasingly critical to the outcome of the war,” the UK Ministry of Defence said.
Purge among senior Russian officers?
Meanwhile, there are reports of a radical reshuffle among the commanders of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Polish state news agency PAP said on Wednesday.
According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), these reports indicate “a possible purge of senior officers blamed for failures in Ukraine.”
The think tank said that the Kremlin "recently replaced the commander of the Russian Airborne (VDV) forces,” among other changes.
Moreover, last week the investigative journalism group Bellingcat reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to dismiss Southern Military District (SMD) Commander Alexander Dvornikov as the commander of the invasion of Ukraine “following Dvornikov’s excessive drinking and lack of trust among Russian forces,” the ISW wrote.
It further noted that, according to Ukrainian sources, Dvornikov had already been replaced by Colonel-General Gennady Zhidko.
At the same time, “Russian forces continue to face force generation challenges and are committing unprepared contract servicemen to the invasion of Ukraine,” according to the ISW.
Russia continues missile strikes on military and civilian facilities
Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Wednesday: “Russian occupiers continue to launch missile and air strikes on military and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”
In its daily operational update, Ukraine’s military command also reported that Russia continued to block civilian shipping.
“Six Kalibr naval-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use missile weapons in the Black Sea,” the Ukrainian General Staff said.
Bid to gain full control of Severodonetsk
In the eastern Donetsk direction, “the enemy continues to focus its efforts on the Severodonetsk and Bakhmut directions in order to reach the administrative borders of the Luhansk region,“ Ukraine officials said.
They added that “the enemy is trying to establish full control” over the key eastern city of Severodonetsk.
Ukraine’s General Staff also reported: “In the Slovyansk direction, the occupiers are carrying out systematic fire in order to create conditions for the resumption of the offensive on the city of Slovyansk. Conduct assault operations.”
Meanwhile, in the area of the northeastern city of Kharkiv, “the enemy is conducting air reconnaissance in order to identify the locations of our troops,” according to Ukraine officials.
They added: “The aggressor carried out intense artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions near Kharkiv, Staryi Saltiv, Rubizhne and Chepil.”
Wednesday is day 119 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua, understandingwar.org