How Much of Ukraine is Under Russian Control?
Today, June 7, 2022, is D+103 in the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. This blog post discusses estimating battle casualties (soldiers killed, wounded, missing or captured in battle) for both Russian and Ukrainian forces during the last 103 days. It also continues the crowd sourced Battle Damage Assessment update of Phase II of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Due to some travel, I took last week off from capturing the progress of the war in Ukraine in the blog. This post provides two weeks of data.
Casualties Over Time
Battle casualties are those soldiers killed, wounded, and captured or missing. The DuPuy Institute has done some fantastic work on World War II casualty rates for US, German, Russian, and UK Divisions. As the war in Ukraine drags on, it is useful to look at the US casualty rate in long-term ground combat in Europe.
The average US World War II Division engaged in combat in Western Europe suffered 0.25% to 1% battle casualties per day. Approximately 61 US Divisions fought in Europe in World War II and the average division had approximately 15,000 soldiers assigned. Operationalizing the casualty rate, it means each day a division was in the fight, it took approximately 50 battle casualties (KIA, WIA, and MIA). Another 0.75% to 1% of the force also was ill or injured from non-battle activities. In addition to combat wounds and fatalities, the G.I.s contracted dysentery, cholera, Hepatitis A and B, trench foot, frostbite, battle fatigue (what we would call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and venereal disease. These illnesses kept many soldiers away from the front lines until they could recover.
For example, the 1st Infantry Division landed at D-Day (June 6, 1944) on Omaha Beach with a strength of approximately 15,000 soldiers and fought across Europe for 292 days. It suffered 1,973 soldiers killed, 11,448 soldiers wounded, and 1,582 missing or captured. All-in-all, 15,003 casualties — approximately 51 casualties per day or 0.33% battle casualties per day it spent in combat. The “Big Red One” also suffered 14,002 non battle casualties during the same time frame — approximately 48 casualties per day or another 0.32% non-battle casualties per day.
The 29th Infantry Division also landed at D-Day on Omaha Beach with approximately 15,000 soldiers. The “Blue and the Grey” Division fought across Europe for 242 days. It suffered 3,720 soldiers killed, 15,403 soldiers wounded, and 988 missing or captured. All-in-all, 20,111 casualties — approximately 83 casualties per day or 0.55% battle casualties per day it spent in combat. The 29th also suffered 8,665 non battle casualties during the same time frame — approximately 35 casualties per day or another 0.23% non-battle casualties per day.
For the past 150 years (1846-1973), the casualty ratio for US Soldiers was 1 soldier killed for every 4 wounded. For this blog post, I will use a 1:4 ratio to estimate type of casualties.
Casualties Over Time in Ukraine
Since combat in Ukraine has been the largest sustained, ground combat since World War II, it is worthwhile to try to use the World War II Division daily battle casualty rate as a means to estimate casualties over the past three months for both sides. Since neither side has seems to have an advantage, I will use 0.33% battle casualties per day for both sides.
- Russian Forces — Approximately 125 Battalion Tactical Groups were part of the invasion force. Each BTG had approximately 700 soldiers assigned to it on February 23, 2022. With approximately 87,500 soldiers directly engaged in combat for 102 days with a loss of 0.33% casualties per day, I estimate the Russians have suffered 29,452 casualties. Using the 1:4 killed to wounded ratio that would mean that 5,890 Russian soldiers have been killed and 23,562 Russian soldiers have been wounded or are missing/captured.
- Ukrainian Forces — Approximately 17 Brigades are defending Ukraine. Each Brigade has approximately 4,000 soldiers assigned to it. With approximately 68,000 soldiers directly engaged in combat for 102 days with a loss of .33% battle casualties per day, I estimate that Ukraine has suffered 23,113 casualties. Using the 1:4 killed to wounded ratio, that would mean approximately 4,622 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 18,490 have been wounded or are missing/captured.
- Recently, President Zelenskyy commented that Ukraine was losing 60-100 soldiers killed in action and 500 wounded per day. (Which is between a 1:8 to 1:5 killed to wounded ratio…). Sustaining this level of casualties over the past 102 days would mean 57,120 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed (6,120) or wounded (51,000) during the war.
As the war drags on, both sides will continue to need to train, deploy, and integrate replacements into the front line units that have been fighting for over three months.
Current Situation — Big Picture
At the beginning of the war, Russia controlled 7.1% of Ukrainian territory or 43,133 km2. This territory was seized in the 2014-2015 Donbas war. Since February 24, 2022, Russia has seized an additional 81,867 km2 of Ukrainian territory — all-in-all, 125,000 km2 of Ukraine is occupied by Russia. This is approximately 20.7% of ALL of Ukraine (Ukraine was approximately 603,550 km2 pre-2014).
Here is Jomini of the West’s (Twitter @JominiW) latest map of the current situation (May 31, 2022). As he states, “Intense combat has continued in the Donbas over the past 9 days. Russian forces continue to expand on their breakthrough around Popasna and have captured large parts of Severodonetsk. Ukraine counterattacks in Kherson.”
Russian BDA (As of June 6, 2022 at 15:00 EDT the Oryx Website (Only captures losses from April 9 onwards))
Tracking the Russian BDA in Phase II (the battle in eastern Ukraine) is a combination of art and science. From April 9, 2022, I believe that Russian forces have lost over 600 vehicles in Phase II. Key vehicles lost include:
- 283 Losses (64 ⬆️) out of an estimated 675x T-72/80/90s Tanks — 41.9% Losses (Destroyed)
- Average of 5.6x tanks damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of Phase II
- 421 Losses (97 ⬆️ )out of an estimated 2,227x BMPs/BTRs/BMDs (Armored Personnel Carriers) — 18.9% Losses (Neutralized)
- Average of 8.2x BMPs/BTRs damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of Phase II
- 58 Losses (23 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 282x BAT-2s and 188x IMR-2s (Engineer Vehicles) — 17.2% Losses (Neutralized)
- 50 Losses (11 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 405x 152 mm 2S19 Msta and 405x BM-21 122mm MLRS (Field Artillery) — 6.2% Losses (Suppressed)
- 17 Losses (1 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 202x Pantsir-S1 (SAMs/ADA) — 8.4% Losses (Suppressed)
- 91 MT-LB Losses (12 ⬆️) out of an estimated 472x MT-LB ACRV (Command and Control) — 19.3% Losses (Neutralized)
Ukrainian BDA (As of June 6, 2022 at 1500 EDT the Oryx Website)
I did not reset the Ukrainian data for Phase II. However, it is a good start point to understand how things are going for Ukraine. So far, according to Oryx, Ukrainian forces have lost:
- 191 Losses (8 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 630x T-64/80s Tanks — 30.3% Losses (Destroyed)
- 259 Losses (13 ⬆️) out of an estimated 2,215x BMPs/BTRs/BMDs (Armored Personnel Carriers) — 11.7% Losses (Neutralized)
- 89 Losses (13 ⬆️) out of an estimated 306x 152 mm 2S19 Msta and 306x BM-21 122mm MLRS (Field Artillery) — 14.5% Losses (Neutralized)
- 15 MT-LB Losses (No Change) out of an estimated 476x MT-LB ACRV (Command and Control) — 3.1% Losses (Suppressed)
More Information on the Conflict:
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How Much of Ukraine is Under Russian Control? Written by US Army Colonel & Paratrooper (ret) Dave Fivecoat
Use your deeper awareness of the invasion of Ukraine to go on the offensive and follow the conflict with better insight.
How Much of Ukraine is Under Russian Control?