US-Supplied Armored Vehicles Lost in the Eastern Ukraine Conflict
The Loss of 16 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles Marks Nearly 15% of US Deliveries
Recent reports indicate that Ukraine lost 16 US-supplied armored vehicles in the ongoing conflict in their eastern Donetsk region, representing almost 15% of the 109 Washington delivered to Kyiv. According to open-source intelligence examination by Jakub Janovsky of Oryx, a Dutch intelligence site, the Bradley Fighting Vehicles were destroyed, damaged, or left behind in Ukraine. The vehicles move on tracks, and they can carry roughly ten Soldiers while providing support fire. The Bradley vehicles were supposed to play a pivotal role in Ukraine’s efforts to regain lost ground.
Armored Vehicles Lost
Despite the loss of the vehicles, Ukraine recaptured at least three Russian-held villages over the weekend, according to reports. The advance allegedly stretches five to ten kilometers from Velyka Novosilke. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar confirmed the liberation on Telegram of the village of Makrivka, located alongside the Mokri Yaly river. Mark Hertling, CNN military analyst, assessed the situation positively, stating that it reinforces the fact that Ukraine is moving forward, which is good for morale and the battlefield. The Russian military has posted a pessimistic evaluation regarding their forces’ situation in the region.
Lost Ground and March to Operational Success
Each piece of land recovered by Ukrainian forces is part of their offensive to gain more territory. The Russian Defense Ministry has reported that their forces destroyed concentrations of armor and enemy manpower in three separate brigades operating in the same area. The Ukraine Military continues to counterattack in the Bakhmut vicinity, but according to Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian army, the operation is not significant. The fighting mostly involves small-scale counter attacks, taking advantage of what the enemy is not doing. He also reported that Russian forces are currently shelling Ukrainian positions but that Ukrainian forces have made progress in some regions; they have even advanced up to two kilometers. Ukraine has also been using deep strike capabilities to disrupt Russian supply lines from the front.
Lack of Enablers
The Bradley Fighting Vehicles would need a combination of skills to be successful in the conflict. In addition to air support, they would require long-range artillery and intelligence to be effective. According to CNN military analyst James “Spider” Marks, a retired general, the Bradleys would have to be used in conjunction with all other relevant enablers. Ukrane’s military reportedly lacks air support and will require F-16 multirole fighter jets from Western allies in the future.
Russia’s presence in Bakhmut is bolstered by airborne troops and supported by infantry personnel and mercenaries from various smaller private military firms. Ukrainian forces have concentrated their efforts in areas northwest and southwest of the city, and Ukraine has been successful in disrupting Russian supply lines. While losing the Bradley Fighting Vehicles is significant, Ukraine’s effective use of other military tactics and tools has enabled them to make gains in the ongoing conflict.