Heavy fighting has been raging in Donbass for weeks. Thousands of fighters are said to have been killed or wounded among the separatists of the self-proclaimed "People's Republic" of Donetsk. The "Institute for the Study of War" sees indications of "drastic rotations" in the Russian army.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine appear to have suffered heavy casualties since the war began. About 55 percent of the original armed forces of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR) are said to be out of action. This is reported by the British Ministry of Defense, citing figures from the separatists from the middle of the month.
From the beginning of the year to mid-June, 2,128 military personnel are said to have been killed in action and 8,897 wounded. This illustrates the "extraordinary attrition" of the Russian and pro-Russian forces in Donbass, where fierce fighting has been raging for weeks.
The British experts suspect that the fighters are poorly equipped: "It is very likely that the armed forces of the DPR are equipped with outdated weapons and equipment." Russia is now most likely planning to transfer a large number of reservists to the Donbass.
Russia itself last published the number of victims on March 25. According to the latest figures from the Ukrainian General Staff, 34,230 enemy soldiers have died so far. The numbers cannot be independently verified at this time.
The think tank "Institute for the Study of War" indicates that the situation for the Russian army is difficult. According to a report by the institute, there appear to be numerous new appointments to high-ranking posts in the armed forces. Possible reshuffles in the Russian military could be a sign of a "purge" of high-ranking officers blamed for failures in Ukraine.
The Institute continues: "Such drastic rotations within the Russian military, if true, are not measures taken by a force poised for major success. Rather, they indicate an ongoing dysfunction in the Kremlin's warfare ."