Russia reveals battle casualties
Ukrainian forces lost over 3,700 men and more than 50 tanks in a futile attempt to break through on several fronts, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. He also revealed Russian casualties during the three days of heavy fighting.
“Over a three-day period, the Ukrainian regime began the long-promised offensive on multiple sections of the front, concentrating a large amount of men and materiel for that purpose,” Shoigu said in a video address.
The losses of Ukraine’s armed forces since June 4 include 3,715 personnel, 52 tanks, 207 armored vehicles, 134 cars, five airplanes, two helicopters, 48 field artillery pieces and 53 drones, Shoigu said in a video message.
“Unfortunately, this was not without casualties of our own,” the defense minister added. While defeating the adversary’s attempt to advance, the Russian military suffered 71 dead, 210 wounded, and the destruction of 15 tanks, nine armored vehicles, two cars and nine artillery pieces, according to Shoigu.
The heaviest fighting took place Monday, with five Ukrainian brigades attacking on seven sections of the frontline. In these clashes, the Ukrainians suffered more than 1,600 casualties and the loss of 136 vehicles, 79 of which were of foreign origin, Shoigu explained. Of the 28 destroyed tanks, eight were German-made ‘Leopards’ and three more the French wheeled AMX-10.
Ukraine “suffered significant and incomparable losses” and did not achieve any of its objectives, the Russian defense minister noted.
Shoigu accused the Ukrainian government of destroying the Kakhovka dam in order to cover its flank along the Dnieper River and prevent a Russian advance, while freeing up troops from that part of the front to redeploy in order to make up the losses elsewhere.
As proof that Ukraine was behind what he called a terrorist act, Shoigu noted that the Dnepropetrovsk hydroelectric plant – under Ukrainian control, further up the river – significantly increased the water flow and contributed to the flooding. Kiev has blamed Moscow and denied any responsibility for the disaster.
Shoigu seldom comments on the course of operations personally, usually leaving the combat reports to the department spokesman, Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian defense ministry has urged everyone to keep quiet.
Fighting continued on Tuesday, with the Ukrainian forces suffering 260 more casualties, five tanks, four armored vehicles, and nine artillery pieces – including a French Cesar and an American M777 – the Russian Defense Ministry said in an evening update.