The increase in the number of Russian officers killed in Ukraine in recent weeks is likely due to the use of HIMARS, claims BBC. The precise strikes with the US rocket launchers are believed to be responsible for the rapid growth in the Russian losses, including high-ranked officers.
According to BBC, which cooperates with an independent Russian news service and several volunteers, there are nearly 5,000 confirmed casualties on the Russian side of the war. The number includes 852 officers.
In the last two weeks, over 80 high-ranked Russian officers were killed by Ukrainian forces. The list includes only confirmed deaths and BBC claims that it may be much longer.
Specialists point out that the list includes 50 air force officers, which are considered elite in the Russian Army. Training elite military aviators may last over 15 years and cost some USD12-14 million each. BBC also claims that five air force officers were over 50 years of age which may suggest a lack of “young, highly motivated and well-trained pilots”.
The majority of Russian casualties in the war in Ukraine are recorded in infantry and airborne troops. Some 40 percent of those killed in Ukraine are volunteers over 45 years of age. According to BBC, it proves that many new recruits are sent to the frontline without proper training.
According to the Ukrainian Army, the number of Russian casualties exceeded 39,000. It is estimated that the invading forces lost over 1,700 tanks, nearly 4,00 armoured vehicles, 221 planes and 188 helicopters.
The Ukrainian military is not giving away many specifics but Vadim Denysenko, a senior official at the Interior Ministry, said that in the past two weeks, “thanks to the weapons that Ukraine received, we were able to destroy approximately two dozen warehouses with weapons and stocks of fuel and lubricants.”
Best in class is the US-supplied HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, but the Ukrainians have also received M777 howitzers from both the US and Canada as well as Caesar long-range howitzers from France.
In addition, the UK has committed to providing M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which are more powerful than HIMARS, but it’s unclear when Ukraine will complete training on the system and deploy it.