Russian Tanks Destroyed In Ukraine : 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine Update
Today, April 19, 2022, is D+53 in the Russian Invasion of the Ukraine. In addition to updating the crowd sourced Battle Damage Assessment on both sides of the conflict using the data from the Oryx website and providing an assessment on the impact of the war on both the Russian and Ukrainian forces, this article looks at Donetsk Oblast, where the future fighting of the war is and will happen, in greater detail.
Current Situation — Big Picture
Here is Jomini of the West’s (Twitter @JominiW) map of the current situation (April 18, 2022). As he states “In the past 72 hrs. have seen Russian forces reduce Ukrainian defenses in Mariupol to the Azovstal area. Ukrainian forces around Kharkiv launch several successful counterattacks while Russia builds forces near Izium.”
Donetsk Oblast, April 19, 2022
Recently, strategic attacks have captured our attention in the Russo-Ukrainian War. The sinking of the Russian flag ship of the Black Sea fleet, Moskva on April 14. The destruction of a key railroad bridge in Russia’s Belgorod region on April 12. However, the more hidden, and important, fight is the ground war in Donetsk Oblast.
The Ukrainian constitution established Ukraine as a unitary state. An oblast is the primary administrative sub-division of the country — there are 24 oblasts in Ukraine. Each of Ukraine’s oblasts have their own legislative and executive authority. Furthermore, each region is administered under laws passed by the Ukrainian government and the Constitution of Ukraine. Each oblast levies its own taxes and, in return, receive a portion of their budget from Kyiv, which gives them a portion of the taxes they levy.
The most important oblast right now in Ukraine is Donetsk. Donetsk Oblast is approximately 26,505 km2 in size and has a population of 4,165,901. Its largest city is Donetsk, with a pre-war population of over 1,000,000. Other significant towns are Horlivka (over 300,000 people pre-war), Makiivka (430,000 people), Mariupol (500,000 people), and Pokrovsk (only 82,000 people but key terrain). As part of the previous 2014 Ukraine War, a portion of Donetsk (about 30%) Oblast declared their independence as the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). On February 21, 2022 Russia recognized DPR as an independent state.
Russia is the only country to recognize the DPR’s independence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech on February 22, 2022, stated Russia’s goals as the independence of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). As of April 18, 2022, 100% of the Luhansk Oblast/LPR is under Russian control, while approximately 60% of Donetsk Oblast is under Russian control. In addition, the DPR (and Russia) controls Donetsk’s major cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, and Makiivka. Ukrainian forces control Donetsk’s key cities of Mariupol (tenuously) and Pokrovsk. Ukraine also has defended and occupied the small town of Severodonetsk, which is a key part of Ukrainian defenses. The focus of the war has transitioned to Donetsk Oblast as Russian forces attack from the north, the east, and the south.
In the south, Mariupol is surrounded, and hope is running out for its Ukrainian defenders.
If Mariupol falls, it could free up 10 Battalion Tactical Groups for Russia to continue the fight elsewhere in Donetsk. As many of you know, that would mean 100x T-72 tanks, 330x BMPs (Infantry Armored Personnel Carriers), 40x Shturm-S ATGM Carrier (Anti-Tank Missiles), 60x 152 mm 2S19 Msta (Field Artillery), 60x BM-21 122mm MLRS (Field Artillery), 60x Pantsir-S1 Surface-to-Air Missiles, and 70x MT-LB ACRV (Command and Control) vehicles, plus 8,000 troops. In the north, Russian forces are trying to attack south and seize the town of Barvinkove. However, Ukrainian forces may be able to cut off supplies to the Russian vanguard. Finally in the east, there is fierce fighting around Severodonetsk.
If Russia seizes the remainder of the Donetsk Oblast, Putin could declare a cease-fire, since some of his pre-war aims have been met. However, Russian tactics are not supporting this strategy. Instead, Russia has been committing its reinforcements piecemeal to the fight in Donetsk Oblast. Furthermore, the piecemeal reinforcements are wasting what little offensive capability Russia has left. On the other hand, Ukrainian forces have been gradually attriting Russian combat power in Donetsk Oblast and may be able to mount more significant counterattacks in the coming weeks.
TFCG will continue to watch the conflict in Donetsk.
Crowd Sourced BDA
Each day the Russian Invasion of Ukraine continues, both Russian and Ukraine forces have vehicles destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured from combat. Battle Damage Assessment, or BDA, is “the estimate of damage composed of physical and functional damage assessment, as well as target system assessment, resulting from the application of lethal or nonlethal military force.”
Stijn Mitzer, along with Joost Oliemans, Kemal Janovsky, Dan Janovsky, and Jakub Janovsky, have taken this idea into the 21st Century.
The five people are attempting to crowd source battle damage assessments in real-time. From both the Russian and Ukraine armed forces during the invasion of Ukraine on The Oryx Website. The team finds photos of destroyed, abandoned, and captured vehicles and then tries to count them based on the vehicle type. They also categorize them based on the vehicles destroyed, abandoned, or captured. As a result, the team does its best to make sure that they are not counting the same vehicle twice and are updating it daily. Check it our yourself — the link to their regularly updated article is here.
Russian Losses Over Time and Bigger Implications
Crowd sourced Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) continues to be intriguing to watch after almost 8 weeks of combat. Here is the updated graphic that shows Russian losses over time. The Russians have lost 1,785 tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery pieces, engineer vehicles, air defense vehicles. In addition, command and control vehicles over the last 53 days. That’s about 25% of the key weapon systems in the invasion force.
Just counting damaged, destroyed, and captured vehicles is Basic BDA. Taking the raw numbers and then assessing the impact on the invasion force is Advanced BDA. Advanced BDA helps military leaders understand the context and make better decisions.
The military uses three categories to measure the impact on enemy units: suppressed, neutralized, or destroyed.
As you would expect, each of these terms has a military definition. Furthermore, these terms use the US Army’s Field Artillery percentages for suppressed, neutralized, or destroyed.
- Suppress is a tactical mission task that results in temporary degradation of the performance of a force or weapons system below the level needed to accomplish its mission. It is the lowest level and typically equates to 3% of a friendly or enemy unit’s equipment destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured.
- Neutralize is a tactical mission task resulting in rendering enemy personnel or materiel incapable of interfering with a particular operation. It is in the middle and usually equates to 10% of a friendly or enemy unit’s equipment destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured.
- Destroy is a tactical mission task that physically renders an enemy force combat-ineffective until it is reconstituted. It is the highest level and usually equals to 30% of a friendly or enemy unit’s equipment destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured.
Russian BDA (As of April 18, 2022 at 15:00 EDT the Oryx Website)
Russian forces have lost:
- 510 Losses (34 ⬆️) out of an estimated 940x T-72/80/90s Tanks — 54.3% Losses (Destroyed)
- Average of 9.6x tanks damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of the conflict
- 709 Losses (33 ⬆️ )out of an estimated 3,102x BMPs/BTRs/BMDs (Armored Personnel Carriers) — 22.9% Losses (Neutralized)
- Average of 13.4x BMPs/BTRs damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of the conflict
- 11 Losses (2 ⬆️) out of an estimated 376x Shturm-S ATGM Carriers — 2.9% Losses (No impact)
- 113 Losses (7 ⬆️ )out of an estimated 282x BAT-2s and 188x IMR-2s (Engineer Vehicles) — 24.0% Losses (Neutralized)
- 209 Losses (11 ⬆️ )out of an estimated 564x 152 mm 2S19 Msta and 564x BM-21 122mm MLRS (Field Artillery) — 18.5% Losses (Neutralized)
- 70 Losses (1 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 564x Pantsir-S1 (SAMs) — 10.1% Losses (Neutralized)
- 173 MT-LB Losses (40 ⬆️) out of an estimated 658x MT-LB ACRV (Command and Control) — 26.3% Losses (Neutralized)
- Average of 3.3x MT-LBs damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of the conflict
There have not been regular updates or reports on casualties. Until there are updated reports, I will continue to provide this for some perspective:
On March 21, 2022, Komsomolskaya Pravda, a pro-Kremlin tabloid, reported that according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 9,861 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and 16,153 injured during the invasion. There may be an additional 10,000+ Russian soldiers captured by Ukraine as well. On Wednesday, March 23, 2022 a NATO spokesperson announced that their estimate was between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and up to 40,000 Russian troops in total killed, wounded, taken prisoner or are missing.
Ukrainian BDA (As of April 18, 2022 at 1500 EDT the Oryx Website)
I believe these numbers are low since the Russian forces are not using social media and it makes it difficult for the Oryx team to crowd source the data. However, it is a good start point. So far, according to Oryx, Ukrainian forces have lost:
- 124 Losses (21 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 630x T-64/80s Tanks — 19.6% Losses (Neutralized)
- Average of 2.3x tanks damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of the conflict.
- 182 Losses (32 ⬆️) out of an estimated 2,215x BMPs/BTRs/BMDs (Armored Personnel Carriers) — 8.2% Losses (Suppressed)
- Average of 3.4x BMPs/BTRs damaged, destroyed, abandoned and captured per day of the conflict.
- 64 Losses (4 ⬆️ ) out of an estimated 306x 152 mm 2S19 Msta and 306x BM-21 122mm MLRS (Field Artillery) — 10.4% Losses (Neutralized)
- 14 MT-LB Losses (No Change) out of an estimated 476x MT-LB ACRV (Command and Control) — 2.7% Losses (No Impact)
Once again, there have not been regular updates or reports on casualties. Until there are updated reports, I will continue to provide this for some perspective:
President Zelenskyy said on March 13, 2022 that over 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed (US estimates were 3,000), remember casualties in war are killed, wounded, and captured, this would also imply that there are about 6,500 Ukrainian soldiers wounded or captured. This uses the same ratio (1 killed to 5 wounded/captured) from the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. This number does not include civilian casualties. There have been no updates to Ukrainian casualties for the past 20 days.
To help you understand the maps better, here is a short guide to some of the symbology above the units. Russian units are in red. Ukrainian units are in green. Name of the unit is typically to the right of the symbol.
- Combined Arms Army (CAA) — Symbolized by XXXX above a unit on the map, the Army Group system was developed by the Soviets during World War II, when the echelons of corps and armies were merged together. Army Groups typically have at several motorized rifle and tank divisions and brigades; headquarters, artillery, air defense, reconnaissance, and MTO (logistics) brigades; and an engineering regiment and a NBC defense regiment. These formations have over 20,000 soldiers in them.
- Divisions — symbolized by XX above a unit on the map, these formations have about 8,500 soldiers and resemble Soviet-era divisions, with three motorized rifle regiments and one tank regiment (for a motorized rifle division (MRD)) or three tank regiments and one motorized rifle regiment (for a tank division) plus supporting units.
- Brigades — symbolized by X above a unit on the map, these formations typically have 3,000-4,500 soldiers
- Battalion Tactical Groups — symbolized by II above a unit on the map, these formations typically have 600 soldiers. See Invasion of Ukraine, D+15, SITREP for more details on the BTG.
More Information on Both the Russian Invasion Force and Ukrainian Defense Forces Can Be Found at:
Want even more? In conclusion, reach out to me me here for a virtual talk to your group or company on the Invasion of Ukraine and its tactical and strategic implications.
Lastly, use your deeper awareness of the invasion of Ukraine to go on the offensive and follow the conflict with better insight.