El Pais – Retrieved from Internet 5/4/22

Is Putin losing the war? The balance of the first phase of the conflict in Ukraine

The Russian invasion has lost its impetus and a series of setbacks has forced the Kremlin to reorganize its forces, raising questions about its military power


Russia has been unable to capture Ukraine’s main cities – the capital Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and even the badly battered Mariupol are still holding out. Odessa remains free, and Ukrainian forces are regaining ground in several parts of the country. Russian troops are withdrawing from their positions on the northern front, and most particularly from their positions around Kyiv. Analysts with the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believe that Russian forces have abandoned their efforts to capture Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine and the target of an intense offensive since the beginning of the invasion. Russian forces are still shelling the city, but seem to have given up on their attempts to encircle and control it.


Russian military victims

Ukrainian military victims

According to Moscow  : there are 1,351 Russian military dead and 3,825 injured. There            

17,000 either dead or injured in Kyiv.

According to UN figures there are 7,000 to 15,000 Russians dead or injured. 1,179 Ukrainians dead and 1,861 injured. There are 4 million refugees and 6.5 mill displaced persons.


10-15% of Russian forces are down


Figures provided by Kyiv (March 29);

Moscow and the Pentagon (March 25);

UN (March 24)

4 million refugees

6.5 million displaced people

*The human and military losses during a war are usually estimates due to the difficulty of verifying the figures on the ground

The realization of failure on several lines of attack and the attrition of its forces is forcing the Kremlin to reorganize its deployment in Ukraine. There have been tremendous material losses.

The Russian have clearly loss a tremendous number of military vehicles, ships and planes. Russia obviously want to capture Maripol which will give them access to the Sea of Azov and entrance to the Black Sea. They may still get it.



*The specialized website Oryx, which is documenting loss of military equipment by Russia and Ukraine based on visual evidence, is offering a count that helps gain insight into the material cost of this conflict. Ukrainian losses are probably undercounted.

 “The first phase has been a Russian military failure of colossal proportions, a truly impressive thing. It will be the subject of study at military academies due to the accumulation of mistakes,” says François Heisbourg, a special advisor for France’s Foundation for Strategic Research (FFRS), the leading French center of expertise on international security and defense issues. The core cause, says Heisbourg, is an erroneous political analysis by the Kremlin that led officials to believe there would not be such a strong resistance by Ukrainians, a fact that also led to inadequate military planning.

“It’s been a disaster,” agrees Ruth Deyermond, a scholar at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London who specializes in security in the post-Soviet space. “We are observing great losses, communication and logistical failures, signs of corruption. They are being forced to resort to mercenaries, and they are withdrawing from Kyiv. No doubt Russia is losing the war. We cannot confidently say that Ukraine is winning, but we can clearly say that Russia is losing,” she says.

The following is an analysis of the combination of strategic and tactical factors that have led the warring sides to the point where they are at, in a war with an as yet uncertain outcome that will define an era. “The initial failure is not an indication of what will happen later,” warns Heisbourg. The conflict could be long and something could tip the balance of war again.