Damage to Ukraine missile seems minimal
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin has the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war and the growing threat of China on ‘The Story.’
The death toll among Russian troops in Ukraine continues to climb with some 200,590 fighting forces being reported as “liquidated” Wednesday by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Fox News Digital could not independently verify these figures and the Pentagon has yet to confirm the number of Russian troops allegedly killed in action.
Western defense officials have been relatively tight-lipped when it comes to exact figures on battlefield losses with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley telling lawmakers in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March that “the Russians have well over 200,000 casualties.”
A Ukrainian soldier gives water to a captured Russian army serviceman near the front line city of Bakhmut, in Donetsk region, Ukraine May 11, 2023. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via Reuters)
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His assessment on Moscow’s dead and injured was echoed just days later by U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who said there were some 220,000 Russian casualties.
Ukraine on Wednesday also claimed to have destroyed over 3,700 tanks, 7,300 armored personnel vehicles, 2,700 drones, 3,100 artillery systems and nearly 1,000 cruise missiles and 300 helicopters.
It is unclear how many battlefield deaths Ukraine has seen, though Western officials have previously estimated Kyiv’s casualty rate to be on par with Russia’s.
After more than a year of war and roughly six months of intense warfare around the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces have begun to see some advancement over the last week.
The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary forces also claimed that Russian troops were abandoning their posts amid poor command and control orders from superiors – enabling Ukrainian forces to advance their lines.
But these battlefield successes are not yet believed to be a part of the long-anticipated spring offensive that Kyiv has been planning.
Ukrainian servicemen rest at their positions near the front line city of Bakhmut, in Donetsk region, May 11, 2023. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko via Reuters)
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Western defense analysts believe that the counteroffensive will be carried out not in Donetsk, but in the Zaporizhzhia region, where a vital triangle area holds the key to maintaining power in southern Ukraine.
This region, which includes the urban areas of Melitopol, Tokmak and Mykhailivka, will affect Ukraine’s ability to take back Kherson to the west, push east into Donetsk and potentially even make a move on Crimea.
Ukraine on Monday claimed that Russia maintains roughly 150,000 troops in southern Ukraine and is preparing for an offensive by forcibly evacuating Ukrainians in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to Russian territory.
Map of vital triangle region in Zaporizhzhia that includes the cities Tokmak, Melitopol and Vasilyivka. Ukraine could target the triangle region in a spring offensive. (Graphic provided by the Institute for the Study of War)
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“They don’t want the population to be able to observe their preparations for battle,” Andrii Cherniak, a representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, told RBK-Ukraine according to a report posted by Ukraine’s defense ministry. “These are certain counterintelligence measures.
“The Russians are afraid of some partisan movement and internal resistance in these territories,” he added.
Caitlin McFall is a Reporter at Fox News Digital covering Politics, U.S. and World news.