Crazy losses in exchange for a tiny piece of territory: what gave Russia a “big offensive”


Crazy losses in exchange for a tiny piece of territory: what gave Russia a

Russia managed to increase the occupied territory in Ukraine by less than 0.04% in February 2023. In the same month, Russia launched its new offensive. At the same time, Russia suffered huge losses in personnel and equipment.

The think tank Institute for the Study of War in Washington said its mapping data showed that between January 31 and February 28, Russia seized 0.039% more territory in Ukraine.

How much territory Russia captured in 2023

This is equivalent to approximately 233.94 square kilometers. This increase in territory is similar to that reported by the War Mapper tracking group, which reported that Russia managed to increase the territory it controls in Ukraine by about 0.01% in February, or about 85 square kilometers.

ISW notes that the data from both think tanks accurately reflects the limitations of Russia's territorial “successes.” In addition, Russia gained this tiny piece of land after losing thousands of soldiers and military equipment.

Russia's “Great Offensive”: What the West Says

On February 14, NATO announced that Russia had launched its long-awaited offensive after several months of winter stagnation. The British Ministry of Defense stated a few days later that Russia “is advancing, if at all, advancing, not by kilometers, but by meters.”

A senior US diplomat also commented on the Kremlin's “progress”, saying: “Russia has announced that it is launching a new offensive. Well, if that's the case, that's very unfortunate.”

Russia also did not make any notable progress in March 2023. Her army fought along the eastern front line, including moving slowly forward at Bakhmut, but still has not taken the city.

At the same time, Russia's losses were and still are huge. In particular, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, stated at the end of February that about 1,200 soldiers were killed in one day of fighting in Bakhmut recently.

Russia is also losing important equipment. In mid-February, the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that Russia had lost half of its main battle tanks since the invasion began.

The UK MoD said one of the reasons Russia hasn't made much progress was that it had to ration artillery shells due to ammunition shortages.

The defense ministry also suggested that Russia had shifted its tactics from trying to conquer new territories to focusing on attrition of Ukraine, hoping that its larger population and greater resources would ultimately bring victory.

“Depleting Ukraine in this way could potentially lead to a peace deal where Russia gets territory, or a situation where Ukraine's allies get tired of giving it new weapons, and then its army becomes easier to defeat,” the statement said.

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