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Ukraine's goal of 30,000 Russian losses per month: How army can exhaust enemy and thwart its offensive

Ukraine's goal of 30,000 Russian losses per month: How army can exhaust enemy and thwart its offensive Photo: Russians are concentrating their forces in the east, Ukraine's Armed Forces need to inflict losses on the enemy (Getty Images)

Ukraine is currently going through a difficult period on the frontline, as Russian troops are actively conducting offensives in the east. Regardless of losses, Russians want to make progress in the east, where they are concentrating their main forces. The decisive factor for the Ukrainian Armed Forces now is to inflict maximum losses on the enemy.


Budanov speaks of a difficult period

Yesterday, the chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov described the current situation on the battlefield while talking to journalists. He said that a difficult period had already begun on the frontline in Ukraine, as the Russian forces have been on the offensive since mid-May. However, according to him, we should not expect Armageddon.

"I believe that it (the difficult period - ed.) is now ongoing. But I repeat once again - there will be no Armageddon. Don't worry, we will prevail and win,” Budanov said, adding that the summer counteroffensive of the Russian forces has already begun.

"It is already underway. It started in mid-May and continues. The situation is not the best, but we should not exaggerate the consequences,” added Budanov.

Oleksandr Musiienko, head of the Сenter of Military Law Researches, told RBC-Ukraine that the large-scale Russian offensive that Budanov warned about is underway.

"His predictions that there will be no Armageddon are indeed being confirmed, it is not happening. This is true today,” Musiienko believes, saying that the main direction of the enemy's attack is the Donetsk region, where the Russian army is trying to make progress.

Most difficult frontline areas as of now

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi names two sectors where the situation is the most difficult - Kurakhove and Pokrovsk.

"The enemy is indeed conducting numerous attacks there. The goal of the occupiers is to reach at least Pokrovsk. Meaning, to reach Pokrovsk as a result of this campaign, and ideally to the administrative borders of the Donetsk region. The enemy is now prioritizing the Donetsk region as its offensive,” Musiienko said.

According to the expert, Ukrainian forces are concentrated on two goals there: to prevent the enemy from developing the pace of the operation and inflicting maximum losses.

"Fighting in the Pokrovsk sector is ongoing on the approaches to the main defense line - the second line. The task is to deplete the enemy's units even on the approaches to the second line of defense so that when they reach this line, including the Karlivka Reservoir, they are as exhausted as possible,” Musiienko said.

Situation in Kharkiv region

According to the expert, Ukrainian forces managed to stabilize the situation in the Kharkiv region.

"Moreover, the fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now in control of the logistics connection from Shebekino (the Belgorod region of Russia - ed.) to Vovchansk means that the Defense Forces are able to prevent the enemy from expanding their foothold in the Kharkiv region. And they are quite effectively holding back the Russians there,” Musiienko said.

At the same time, Ukraine has stopped the rapid pace of Russian troops' advance, he said. The defense forces are stabilizing the situation even better in some parts of the frontline, and have been successful in striking at Russian military facilities in the Belgorod region and in the occupied Crimea.

Threat for Sumy region

As for the Sumy region, the expert believes that the threat has decreased.

"Today, subversive reconnaissance groups are operating there, but sabotage and reconnaissance groups have been operating there before. In fact, the trend remains, from time to time they enter or try to enter the territory of border settlements and identify firing points of Ukrainian troops, engage in combat, conduct reconnaissance, etc.", Musiienko said.

The expert stresses that today the risks of a larger-scale offensive by Russian troops in the Sumy region have significantly decreased compared to two or three weeks ago.

Decisive factor for Ukrainian forces

According to Musiienko, the fact that Ukraine needs to have a sufficient number of different means of firepower is of great importance now. These include artillery shells, mines, HIMARS, longer-range weapons, and aircraft.

"This is necessary to inflict such losses on the enemy that he is unable to replenish his forces within a month as a result of its mobilizations. That is, more than 30,000 losses must be inflicted on the enemy per month to make it exhausted. Therefore, we need even more firepower, more ammunition, and in fact, I think we will be able to finally stabilize the situation at the front,” the expert concluded.

The Russian army continues to conduct active offensives of varying intensity along the entire front line. The country's military and political leadership had previously warned that the situation could escalate, saying it would happen in late May or early June. This indeed happened, but a little earlier. On May 10, the Russian troops launched a second offensive in the north of the Kharkiv region. The enemy managed to break through the border and reach the city of Vovchansk. However, the situation later stabilized. The activity of Russian troops in the Kharkiv region decreased, and they failed to make significant progress. The Russians also got on Ukraine's nerves by spreading a fake about the alleged capture of Ryzhivka in the Sumy region.

Meanwhile, the enemy's offensive in the east continues. The Russian army is trying to capture Chasiv Yar, Klishchiivka, and Kalynivka to expand its advance towards Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

Read a more detailed report about the frontline and how events may develop in the summer in RBC-Ukraine coverage “Summer strategy: Russia's key targets and Ukraine's prospects to turn the tide before winter".

Sources: statements of the chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov, chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi, data from the reports of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and exclusive comments by the head of the Сenter of Military Law Researches Oleksandr Musiienko.