Russia: Ukraine lost 26,000 men, 1,244 armored vehicles in new counteroffensive

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News July 12, 2023

Since launching its new counteroffensive on June 4, the Ukrainian army has lost over 26,000 men and 1,244 tanks and armored vehicles, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu as NATO members were meeting in Lithuania.

Footage of damaged Ukrainian armoured vehicles in the Zaporizhzhia region. / Russian Defense Ministry Press Service

Since the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive on Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine’s losses “have reached over 26,000 servicemen and 3,000 items of various pieces of armament,” Shoigu said, according to TASS.

Shoigu said Russian forces destroyed 21 planes, five helicopters, 1,244 tanks and other armored vehicles, 17 German-made Leopard tanks, five AMX tanks produced by France and 12 U.S.-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

Russian forces also eliminated 914 pieces of automotive equipment, two air defense systems, 25 multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), and 403 field artillery cannons and mortars.

The defense minister said Russian air defense systems shot down 176 HIMARS rockets, 27 Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles and 483 drones during Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

The United States is well aware of “the high efficacy of our defense lines and barrier minefields, [and the] professional work of army aviation and ground-attack aircraft who carry out pre-emptive strikes at the adversary’s targets,” Shoigu said.

Meanwhile, in an address at Vilnius University as the NATO summit concluded in Lithuania, Joe Biden doubled down on U.S. support for Ukraine: “We will not waver. We will not waver. I mean that. Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken.”

Military analysts have said that Russia’s heavy use of land mines is a key reason the much-awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive hit a brick wall. Battefield images seemed to show U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicles and German Leopard II tanks taken out by land mines.

Russia’s extensive use of landmines is most likely what prompted Team Biden to say it would deliver cluster munitions to Ukraine, military analysts say.

“On February 28, 2022, Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki said that the use of cluster bombs would be a war crime,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “Over a year later, Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to US President Joe Biden, said at a briefing that the White House would provide cluster munitions to Ukraine… President Biden said that it was a “difficult decision” to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions, but Ukrainians “need them.” He forgot to add that dead Ukrainians need them especially badly.”

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