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Forbes: Vovchansk Turns Into ‘Meatgrinder’ For Russians

Forbes: Vovchansk Turns Into ‘Meatgrinder’ For Russians

The occupiers’ commanders care about equipment more.

In Russia, vehicles are expensive but soldiers are cheap, and the leadership cares more about the vehicles, sending soldiers on “meat assaults”, thus the situation in Vovchansk turned into a battle on foot, Forbes writes.

The publication notes that five weeks into Russia’s northern offensive in Ukraine, the battlefield in and around Vovchansk — the locus of the fighting just south of the Russia-Ukraine border — has become extremely dangerous for Russian armored vehicles. So Russian infantry march into battle on foot — and die in huge numbers as Ukrainian drones and artillery take aim.

“Perversely, this bloodbath doesn’t portend an imminent end to the wider war. The Kremlin recruits, and rushes through cursory training, around 30,000 fresh troops every month — just enough to make good monthly losses. So even as Russians die in shocking numbers in Vovchansk and other contested towns, the Russian army continues to replenish existing units and even form new ones,” stated in the material.

A Ukrainian marine corps drone operator supporting the Ukrainian 82nd Air Assault Brigade fighting in Vovchansk has said that despite the difficult situation for the occupiers, they are preparing new forces for future attacks and the number of dead and wounded is not an indicator for the Russian Federation.

He added that today, Vovchansk is an infantry killing field, and the Russians are doing most of the dying. According to him, they have armored vehicles that are ideal for fighting in the city, but they do not use them.

“Their choice to use infantry without armor is strange. In fact, it makes perverse sense — especially for Russian commanders who don’t place much value on the lives of their soldiers,” the publication notes.

The material states that in 28 months of hard fighting, Russia’s military has lost around 4,000 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles — the two types of armored vehicle that haul troops into battle. That’s around 150 destroyed Russian APCs and heavier IFVs a month, on average, that the analysts at Oryx have confirmed. Ukraine’s losses are much lower: around a thousand APCs and IFVs since Russia widened its war on Ukraine in February 2022. That’s approximately 30 vehicles a month.

In May, Russian vehicle losses spiked to a staggering 288 APCs and IFVs, according to analyst Andrew Perpetua, who tallies vehicle losses in Ukraine. “This is only what we could see and count,” Perpetua stressed.

“It’s apparent there’s growing pressure on Russian commanders to conserve their heavier armored vehicles. More Russian assault groups are riding into battle on motorcycles or in all-terrain vehicles that are little better than heavy-duty golf carts. And those are the lucky groups that have any vehicles at all. And losing a squad of infantry is preferable to losing any vehicle as long as infantry are plentiful and vehicles are increasingly scarce,” Forbes summarized.

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