For Russia, the numbers are catastrophic.
From Wednesday to Sunday, Vladimir Putin’s military forces saw at least 338 pieces of important military hardware — from fighter jets to tanks to trucks — destroyed, damaged or captured, according to numbers from the open source intelligence website Oryx, as Ukraine’s forces have bolted through Russian-held territory in an offensive that has stunned the Russians in its speed and breadth.
Ukraine’s top military commander claimed on Sunday that more than 3,000 square kilometers (1,158 square miles) of territory had been retaken by his country’s forces since the beginning of September. And for more perspective, just “since Wednesday, Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London,” the British Defense Ministry said Monday.
Ukrainian reports say Putin’s troops are fleeing east to the Russian border in whatever transport they can find, even taking cars from the civilian population in the areas they had captured since the start of the war in February.
In their wake they leave hundreds of pieces of the Russian war machine, which since Putin’s so-called “special military operation” commenced, has not come close to living up to its pre-war billing as one of the world’s great powers.
These Russian losses are the accumulation of a multitude of existing problems that are now colliding head-on with a Ukrainian military that has been patient, methodical and infused with billions of dollars of the Western military equipment that Russia cannot match.