The US newspaper cited signs that Ukraine may have suffered great damage after starting a counterattack against Russia in June.
According to the New York Times, since Ukraine counterattacked two months ago with tanks and advanced Western weapons, Kiev has not achieved a major breakthrough on the ground and suffered relatively large losses.
The US newspaper quoted Taras Svystun, a soldier in the team responsible for gathering and identifying the dead, as saying that the total number of deaths recorded in local Ukrainian morgues “more or less doubled since the counterattack begins”.
“There are more bodies on record now,” he said.
Ukraine has not released details of the total number of casualties in the war with Russia.
Earlier, the New York Times, citing sources from Western officials and observers, estimated that more than 150,000 Ukrainian soldiers may have been killed or injured since hostilities with Russia broke out in February 2022.
Over the past several months, Russia has built a defense system that is likened to a “steel wall” with anti-tank moats, barbed wire, concrete trenches, anti-tank minefields, dragon tooth defenses and tunnels.
Ukrainian forces have built up a substantial arsenal of tanks, armored vehicles and other weapons supplied by the United States and its NATO allies in order to deliver an “iron punch” through their defenses. Russia.
However, Russia operates defense systems that are stacked and can span several tens of kilometers. These systems have created eight layers of dangerous fortifications that Ukraine must pay with heavy armor and soldiers if it tries to overcome.
Specifically, Ukrainian armored vehicles that try to attack will be trapped in anti-tank traps, leaving them exposed to Russian fire. Meanwhile, infantrymen passing through this anti-tank trap could get bogged down in barbed wire, making them vulnerable to attack.
If Ukrainian forces still make it through, they will face trenches, minefields, and dragon tooth lines – rows of concrete stakes designed to block the advance of enemy vehicles.
Therefore, Ukraine is increasing the use of heavy artillery against Russian targets across the front lines, to clear the way for engineers and infantry units to advance.
With artillery systems, Ukraine hopes to be able to penetrate the Russian line, which a retired US general once called “20km of hell”.