Russia has lost 37 artillery systems, 21 armored personnel vehicles and 610 soldiers in one day, Ukraine’s military said on Thursday, as Kyiv hopes to press on with its progress against Russian forces along the southeastern front lines.
Moscow’s forces have lost a total of 5,722 artillery systems, 8,703 APVs and 266,900 soldiers since the Kremlin launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine’s General Staff said in a post to social media.
Both sides have suffered heavy equipment losses and human casualties in the 18 months of war, and artillery has featured high up on Ukraine’s wish list of support from its Western allies. The U.S. Defense Department announced a new tranche of aid for Ukraine on Wednesday, which includes artillery ammunition and extra mortar systems, during a surprise visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Kyiv.
“Artillery was, and looks to remain, important for land warfare,” Paul van Hooft, a strategic analyst with the Hague Center for Security Studies, told Newsweek in early July.
Neither side publishes a running total of its own personnel or equipment losses. On Wednesday, Russia said it had destroyed 6,253 Ukrainian field artillery guns and mortars, with around 660 fighters killed or taken out of action.
Russia’s and Ukraine’s figures cannot be independently verified. Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment via email.
In a separate update on Thursday, Ukraine’s General Staff said its forces had “succeeded” south of the recently-recaptured southern town of Robotyne and to the west of the nearby village of Verbove. In recent weeks, Ukraine’s counteroffensive has focused on these settlements in the Russian-annexed Zaporizhzhia region, south of the Ukrainian-held city of Orikhiv.
Kyiv had said in late August that it had seized control of Robotyne back from the Kremlin. More than a week later, a Russian-backed official in Zaporizhzhia then told Russian state television that Russian armed forces had “tactically abandoned” Robotyne. “The Russian army moved off into the hills,” said Zaporizhzhia occupation administration head, Yevgeny Balitsky, said in quotes reported by news outlet RBC.
On Saturday, the commander of Ukraine’s Tavria group of forces, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy, told British newspaper The Observer that Ukrainian forces “are now between the first and second defensive lines” of Russian fortifications around Robotyne.
Geolocated footage showed that Ukrainian fighters have progressed along the trench line west of Verbove, the U.S. think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, said on Wednesday.
Russian forces “repelled four enemy attacks” around Verbove and Robotyne, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, adding: “There are no changes in the tactical position of Russian troops.”