Day 119 of the Russian war of aggression: the level of information about casualties has changed fundamentally – politics

Compared to the first weeks of the war, not only has the front changed, but another thing has changed fundamentally: the information available about the losses of the two armies.

While hundreds of photos and videos of destroyed Russian tanks and other equipment flooded social networks every day during the attack on Kyiv, such recordings are rarely seen. The dramatic losses of Putin’s troops could be tracked almost in real time at the end of February and in March (the blogger Oryx is based for example his war record on social media posts).

Photos and videos of Ukrainian troops primarily showed their successes. Official statements about casualties in combat were the absolute exception. Ukraine wanted to appear strong and they succeeded.

In recent weeks, specifically with the Russian offensive in Donbass, this has been reversed. Hardly anything is known about Russian losses. An exception are the reports, which are mainly spread by the Ukrainian armed forces and Western military.

According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russia could have lost around 50,000 soldiers so far if you add up the dead and wounded; the US Army estimates that Moscow has lost up to 30 percent of its total armored force. However, it is unclear what exactly this means. There are no credible reports from Russia itself.

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The situation is different when it comes to Ukrainian losses. Ukrainian officials have been surprisingly open about them in recent weeks. President Selenskyj complained of up to 100 deaths and 500 injuries every day. Shortly thereafter, his adviser spoke of 200 deaths every day. A senior Ukrainian military officer recently said that Ukraine lost around half of its heavy weapons in combat, including around 400 tanks and 700 artillery systems.

Like all information in this war, these figures should be viewed with a certain degree of skepticism. And some experts do too. War researcher Phillips O’Brien speculated a few days ago that Ukraine is being so open about its losses because it wants to get more support from the West. He also estimates that the Ukrainian numbers may be overstated. But even if they are only approximately correct, they show the dramatic extent of this war.

The most important news of the day at a glance:

  • A Fire in a Russian oil refinery According to the Russian authorities, it is believed to be due to a Ukrainian drone attack. Remarkable: The place is about 150 across the Russian border. More in our news blog.
  • Olaf Scholz expects from the NATO summit in Madrid in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine Signal of cohesion and determination. “A partnership with Russia, as stated in the Strategic Concept of 2010, is unimaginable for the foreseeable future with Putin’s aggressive, imperialist Russia,” said Scholz. More here.
  • The Russian government has accused the federal government of inciting anti-Russian hostility. Berlin is endangering “decades of efforts by Russia and Germany to overcome post-war enmity”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow said on Wednesday, on the occasion of the commemoration of Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union. German members of the government would stir up anti-Russian hysteria with almost daily attacks on our country.
  • Russian troops in the Donbass have fought south of the Cities of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk conquered some territory. This is strategically important, as they probably don’t want to advance across the river to Lysychansk, but from the south. Another bitter house-to-house war looms.
  • Germany and the Netherlands have now, according to Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht handed over all 12 planned models of the Panzerhaubitze 2000 to Ukraine.
  • The Russian leadership has again imposed transit restrictions on the Moscow-owned but located between EU countries Poland and Lithuania Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad criticized and threatened with “practical” reprisals. An answer will “not in the diplomatic, but in the practical area”if the EU does not lift its restrictions, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova threatened in a press briefing on Wednesday.
  • Russia names the square in front of the American Embassy in Moscow after the separatist “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DVR) and thus provokes new tensions with the USA. A corresponding decree for renaming was published on Wednesday by the city administration. The move will force the US Embassy to refer to the DPR when providing its address in the futurewhich Washington does not recognize as an independent state.

Background and analysis:

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