According to the First Deputy Minister of Information of the DPR Daniil Bessonov, more than 50 thousand Ukrainian soldiers have died since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine.
The deputy minister aided that most of the combat-ready units of Ukraine were destroyed or captured.
“According to my observations, from what gets into the network, if you add all this into the overall picture, they have more than 50 thousand dead – this is if you take the entire front line. Counting the wounded is usually one to three, one to four, that is, roughly speaking, more than 150 thousand may be wounded,” Bezsonov said in his interview.
The report of the DPR official are confirmed by the claims of Ukrainian servicemen. Sky News agency has recently published an interview with an Ukrainian officer who was deployed in the Severodonetsk area.
The commander of an elite unit of the Ukrainian Marine Corps, who gave his name as Olexander, said that most of his most trained soldiers were wounded or killed. The losses amounted to about 80% of the well-trained and battle-hardened fighters with whom he had been fighting side by side since 2018. According to him, heavy losses have a strong emotional and psychological impact on both other units and relatives of servicemen. Olexander admitted that he does not know how long the AFU would be able to bear such losses.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are suffering heavy losses in manpower and military equipment during the battles with Russian, LPR and DPR troops. Russian military media are publishing more and more interviews with Ukrainian prisoners of war who served in the rear units, which confirms that the military command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is experiencing a shortage of manpower and uses untrained servicemen as cannon fodder on the front line.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense is currently reporting AFU KIAs in the range of 500-1000/day. With wounded and MIA at 4:1 KIA (or 2000-4000/day), that brings estimated AFU losses in the range of 2500-5000 day.
Moon of Alabama discusses the accelerating losses below.
Newsbits on Ukraine – Lysichansk Cauldron, Civilian Damage, Reserve Troops, Russian ‘Default’
This was the Lysichansk area on June 2022 with the Russian positions in red.
This is the same area one week later.
The distance between the red fronts above and below has shrunk to 8 kilometer (~5 miles). According to Russian source there are some 8,000 soldiers and militia left in Lysichansk.
The area between the Russian fronts is under full Russian artillery control with drones flying above seeing anyone who moves to escape from Lysichansk to Siversk on the left side of the map. A Washington Post report describes what happens to those who try:
The Ukrainian Airborne unit was relieved to be pulling back from the front Sunday morning, riding a column of armored personnel carriers away from the embattled city of Severodonetsk, which had already fallen to the Russians, and Lysychansk, which was on the brink.
“Nothing happened to us to when we were at the front,” the unit commander said. “It was while we were retreating that we got hit.”
They were hit, and hit badly.
As the convoy moved into the farm village of Verkhniokamianske, with many of the soldiers riding on the outside of the vehicles, the first blast struck right by them. It was a cluster bomb, they would later surmise, something that tore through the contingent of men clinging to that side of one truck.
Several men were wounded, with blood pouring from limbs and, in one case, a soldier’s head. But there was no time to treat them while the convoy remained in the crosshairs of Russian artillery. The uninjured applied tourniquets where they could, dragged the hurt back onto the vehicles and raced out of the village, across rutted farm lanes to a line of trees across a golden wheat field about a kilometer away.
(The claim of a cluster bomb is likely wrong. An exploding 152mm high explosive artillery round spreads many fragments of deadly metal around.)
There were at least eight wounded in the attack. The bodyguard of the WaPo reporter helped to apply first aid to them. They were ‘evacuated’ back to Lysichansk.
Whoever commands the 8,000 soldiers there should tell them to give up and to surrender to the Russian led forces.—
On Saturday Russian bomber flying over the Caspian Sea fired four cruise missiles into the Artem missile factory in Kiev. The ‘western’ reporting claimed that some hit a civilian building:
Russian missiles hit a multistory residential building and a kindergarten in Kyiv early on Sunday, killing at least one person and injuring six others in what the city’s mayor called an attempt to “intimidate Ukrainians” on the eve of summits in Europe focused strongly on the war.
The casualties occurred in the nine-story apartment block in central Kyiv, badly damaged by what the Ukrainian air force said were Russian Kh-101 cruise missiles launched from long-range strategic bombers over the Caspian Sea, roughly 1,000 miles away.
A picture in the report shows damage to the upper two floors.
The Kh-101 cruise missile has a warhead with 450 kilogram of high explosives. If one had hit that high-rise the building would be completely gone.
Modern Russian cruise missiles are extremely precise as last week’s damage of the Dnieper bridge in the Cherkasy region of Ukraine shows. The railway part that was used to transport heavy weapons is gone. The road bridge right next to it has little damage.
It is way more likely that the building in Kiev was hit by an Ukrainian air defense missile that missed its target but eventually fell back to earth.—
Any army fighting a war will hold some trained units in reserve. Such a reserve will be used to block a strategic breakthrough by the enemy or when there is a good chance to launch a significant counterattack. As Kiev was throwing untrained Territorial Defense Forces into the slaughter of the Donbas front I began to doubt that there was still a significant reserve. On Friday or Saturday the Ukrainian president Zelensky ordered all Territorial Forces that were left in areas that are currently not fought in to move to the Donetsk front. This included some units from Odessa which is still in danger of being attacked. That nearly sealed it for me. If they pull troops from Odessa the Ukrainian reserve must have gone.
But on Sunday the daily report by the Russian Defense Ministry told me that I was wrong:
High-precision attacks of Russian Aerospace Forces and Kalibr missiles were launched at 169th Army Training Centre near Desna (Chernigov region), 199th Air Assault Troops Training Centre near Teterevka (Zhitomir region), as well as at 184th Training Centre of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) near Starichi (Lvov region).
Attacks have resulted in neutralising 65th, 66th mechanised brigades and 46th Airmobile Brigade from AFU strategic reserves that were finishing their preparation at those training grounds. The planned redeployment of the above mentioned units to operations area has been frustrated.
Three full brigades, likely at full strength and equipped with weapons the ‘west’ has delivered, are a significant force of probably 12,000 men. They could have launched a decent counterattack on Kherson or some other area the Russian forces have captured but where their defense lines are currently quite thin.—
Another day, another false claim of civilian casualties?
The Kyiv Independent @KyivIndependent – 4:32 PM · Jun 27, 2022
⚡️ Zelensky: ‘Russia strikes shopping center in Kremenchuk, while over thousand people inside.’
“The mall is on fire, firefighters are trying to extinguish the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine,” said President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The video show a burning shopping center which does not seem to have an urban surrounding. Some 20 civilians are hanging around and watch as the firefighters do their job. They show no panic or grief. The shopping center’s rather large parking space is empty except for some five cars which all seem to be undamaged. I see no bicycles.
If there were 1,000 people in the shopping center how did they get there? How did they plan to get home?
Another video from a different perspective also shows a large empty parking space with two soldiers strolling by in full battledress. They have helmets on, wear body armor and carry their weapons. They have large military backpacks. Some other soldiers who are hanging around in olive green clothing great them.
Kremenchuk is on the Dnieper, far from the front lines. Why were the soldiers at the burning shopping center. Was there something in there that was of military interest?
The New York Times headlines:
About $100 million in dollar- and euro-denominated interest payments failed to reach investors within a 30-day grace period following a missed May 27 deadline. The grace period expired Sunday night.
A formal declaration of default would need to come from bondholders because ratings agencies, which normally declare when borrowers have defaulted, have been barred by sanctions from reporting on Russia. The Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee, a panel of investors that rules on whether to pay out securities linked to defaults, hasn’t been asked to make a decision on these bond payments yet.
Russia has paid the interest on June 24:
MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) – National Settlement Depository (NSD), the paying agent for Russian sovereign Eurobonds, has received 8.5 billion rubles or $159.4 million equivalent in order payment of coupon interest on the country’s 2028 Eurobonds, the Finance Ministry said.
The ministry said it had honored obligations to service the sovereign bonds in full.
The ministry said on June 23 that it had has transferred rubles to the NSD in payment of coupons on the country’s 2027 and 2047 Eurobonds as part of the new arrangement for servicing sovereign external debt, as approved by a presidential decree of June 22.
The new form of payment came after the ‘west’ rejected to receive the money in Euros. As the NYT writes:
Russia is rejecting the default declaration, on the grounds that it has made efforts to pay. Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, told reporters on Monday that the statements about default were “absolutely illegal.”
“The fact that Euroclear withheld this money, did not transfer it to the recipients, it is not our problem,” Mr. Peskov said. “In other words, there are no grounds to call this situation a default.”
The bond investors can easily get their money in the currency they want. They will have to open two accounts with Gazprombank in Zurich, one in rubles and one in euros. They then can ask Russia’s National Settlement Depository to send their rubles to their rubles account at Gazprombank which will happily buy those rubles and move the corresponding euro value into the investor’s euro account.
That is simply the reverse of the process European buyers use to pay for Russian gas in rubles.
There is zero reason then to call this a default.