Kyiv Reports Devastating Russian Losses

( – Ukraine says the Russian military has suffered serious losses in its latest attacks. According to a defense ministry spokesman, defending forces have destroyed artillery, armored vehicles, and even a combat aircraft. A steady stream of losses means Russia’s military is being bled of equipment.

On May 22, the Ukrainian general staff posted a message on social media claiming that in the previous day, Russian losses included 40 artillery pieces, 27 armored personnel carriers, and an Su-25 ground attack aircraft, Russia’s equivalent of the US A-10 Warthog. Russia has been pushing towards Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, and is also attacking Avdiika in the east of the country.

Since Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Russians have suffered heavy casualties every time they’ve gone on the offensive, especially among the older Soviet-era equipment that makes up the bulk of its armed forces. The Su-25 first entered service in 1981; both sides in the war use it, and they’ve taken serious casualties from modern air defense systems.

Despite Russian losses, Putin continues to crank up his aggressive rhetoric against NATO, and many of the alliance’s newer, East European members are getting nervous. The Baltic states — Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia — are particularly worried. All three small countries were forcibly absorbed into the Soviet Union after WWII and only regained independence in the 1990s. All of them have significant Russian-speaking minorities, and they fear Putin might use that as an excuse to “liberate” parts of their territory.

In response, NATO has staged major exercises to warn the Kremlin that the alliance has powerful forces of its own. Still, at the rate Russia is losing equipment in Ukraine, there are serious questions about whether the rogue state could even launch an attack against NATO. The worry is that if it does, the lack of modern tanks and aircraft that have been destroyed in huge numbers in Ukraine could persuade Putin to gamble on weapons of mass destruction.

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