Apr 30 44 tweets 18 min read

As Putin's invasion war into Ukraine has passed 2 months, the fog of war is lifting somewhat. We can make a preliminary calculation of the monetary cost to Russia of this war (beyond lives & injuries, military & civilian)

Let's do some math, shall we?

We have several tidbits of info, daily military equipment losses like this chart published by Kyiv Independent. Some of those numbers at times confirmed or similar numbers come out from Russia (rapidly deleted). I trust these are close to truth

There have been many supportive calculations such as a regular update of visually confirmed losses out of photographs & video. And separately, various sources calculated totals, and Forbes calculated costs of various equipment losses such as this chart

As the war has dragged on, we have also found out most of the Russian Army units serving in Ukraine, and these are collected for example onto Wikipedia which lists the full Russian organization by unit & commander
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_…

That gets us to a fairly confident number, that it was about 190,000 troops Russia sent to invade Ukraine on 24 February 2022. That includes bandits, gangsters & terrorists from the Donbas region joining the Russian mission against Ukraine

I have seen some numbers of Russian equipment which does not tally with 190,000 total army size (the numbers are too low). So I stick to my estimate. For an army of 190,000 you need 19,000 armored vehicles. There's a simple rule of thumb to divide that

The Russian order of battle is designed to allow every soldier to fight inside a contaminated combat environment. So there has to be a seat for every soldier, inside. Thus use this rule:
30% tanks
40% armored personnel carriers
20% artillery
10% other

Thus I stick to my estimate, on 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with:
5,700 tanks
7,600 armored personnel carriers
3,800 self-propelled artillery & mortar units
1,900 other incl Anti-Air, Recce, MLRS, command, bridging, repair etc vehicles

Those numbers can be off by many hundreds per category, but will unlikely be off by a thousand in either direction

Two classes impact the cost of combat. Tanks consume far more fuel than others

And artillery consumes BY FAR the most ammunition

In fighting a war, for Russian army, the artillery cost is so huge, more than HALF of all supply is JUST artillery. Second most is mortar rounds, then comes fuel, then other munitions such as rockets, missiles, tank ammunition, rifle rounds & food

So the single biggest factor in deciding how much the Russian army is costing Putin, is how much there is artillery fired. Not the cost of paying families for the dead, or paying for mercenaries from Syria, or paying for jet fuel etc. Artillery...

But the biggest unknown, that I could not estimate for you, was the cost of missiles. They are very expensive, and there is no 'standard allocation' formula. I was unable to calculate our costs, until I had this number. Forbes gave it to us 2 days ago

Forbes caculated that the total cost of the missiles fired by Russia in the war so far (at 62 days) was \$7.5 Billion dollars. That is \$120 million dollars per day in smart weapon costs per day. Note Forbes estimate is on low end, it is likely more

Pat, I am ready to solve the puzzle.

Let's start with fuel. Russian Air Force started war flying 200 combat jet missions per day. That went up to 300 per day from mid March. Let's use 267 as our average missions flown.

With mix of high performance twin engine jet fighters like Su 27 derivatives, that use about 10 tons of fuel per mission, & smaller subsonic ground attack jets like Su 25 that use 4 tons, I get 2.3 million liters (605,000 gallons) of jet fuel per day

Add the helicopters, say 1 million more liters per day, at 3.3 million liters say same in dollars. \$3.3M in jet fuel

Next the tanks. Russian tanks have about 1,100 liter fuel tank. If every tank consumes one tankful per day, it is 6.3 million liters

that is 5,700 tanks. All other 13,300 armored vehicles consume only 5.9 million liters per day, combined. You see in terms of fuel costs, gas guzzlers for Russian military are the tanks

Total fuel costs per day \$15.5 million dollars for this military

Now lets look at ammunition costs

Each artillery piece would have a fire allotment of 250 rounds per day, to be able to fire 50 minutes per day, at 5 rounds per minute (they do not fire continuously)

Of the 3,800 self-propelled indirect fire...

Of the 3,800 units half are self-propelled artillery, half are self-propelled mortar units. 1,900 artillery x 250 rounds would fire 475,000 rounds per day. That is about 24 thousand TONS per day

Cost? \$475 million dollars per day if every gun sings

It is rare for all guns to fire their daily allotment, but in heavy battle, many units will expend their total daily allowance. So potentially \$475 million per day in artillery round costs, in reality it will be a fraction of that per day

Mortar also 1,900 units x 250 rounds per day, is about 5,000 tons of munitions. Cost if every mortar fired full allotment that day, would be \$95 million dollars. All other rounds are FAR less per day, like tank ammo, bullets for rifles & machine guns

All other traditional munitions combined will cost a small fraction of the artillery & mortar, because they are fired only when targets are seen. Let's use \$30 million to cover all other munitions (will be less)

Add the \$120 million in missile costs

Next lets take payments for the dead. Russia promised to pay \$41,000 euros per dead Russian soldier and \$28,000 euros if (permanently) injured. We see 365 dead on ave per day. Those are not all Russians (includes mercenaries etc). I guess 288 Russians

Using the ratio we found, 1.72 injured vs dead for Russian army, that gives 481 injured per day. These result in daily compensation cost of \$11.8M for KIA and \$11.2M for injured, total \$23 million per day

Slightly more in level than daily fuel costs

Then lets add the mercenaries. 20,000 hired from Syria, Libya etc to go & die in Ukraine. Paid on average \$1,800 dollars per month. This mercenary army costs \$36 million dollars.. per month

Only \$1.2 million per day

True. They're cheap cannon fodder

Then let's add the lost equipment. This will sting a bit. That Moskva boat alone cost \$750 million. So out of total gear Russia has lost so far, I estimate actual cost paid by Russia was \$10.0B up to now, but replacement cost is \$14.7 Billion dollars

\$14.7 Billion is the real equipment cost, because this gear will need to be replaced by Russian military, it was their latest weapons. They cannot take obsolete tanks from storage to use for next decades. That comes to a daily cost of \$230 million

There also are salaries paid to Russian professional soldiers and allowances for conscripts, but those would have to be paid for the same soldiers under peacetime serving somewhere in Russia. So I will not include those costs

Now lets total these up

If we assume full fuel used daily & total daily ammunition used, then costs:

Fuel \$16M*
Artillery \$475M*
Mortar \$95M*
Missiles \$120M
Oth ammo \$30M
Compensation \$23M
Mercenaries \$1M
Equipment lost \$230M
Total daily cost: \$994M*

* reality will be less

Realistic daily cost:
Fuel \$10M*
Artillery \$119M**
Mortar \$24M**
Missiles \$120M
Oth ammo \$8M**
Compensation \$23M
Mercenaries \$1M
Equipment lost \$230M
Total daily cost: \$539M

* 2/3 of maximum daily
* 1/4 of maxium daily

Let's pause here for 2 observations

You may have seen sensational stories claiming this war costs Russia \$1 Billion dollars per day. The math can be used to claim that level, yes. But it assumes absurd & unsustainable level of ammo & fuel expenditure

But MOST of all, because of Ukraine's magnificent ability to destroy & capture Russian equipment, and all other costs, this Russian invasion war in Ukraine IS costing about half a BILLION dollars

PER DAY.

It is BY FAR the costliest war of all time

Now that we have my 'model' let's map out two scenarios

We know Putin had a 3 day plan to win the war in Ukraine, & if that failed, he intended to encircle & lay siege to Kyiv and bombard it to submission (like we see in Mariupol)

Let's see budgets?

3 Day War would have taken Kyiv. So all Russian army rushes fast to their objectives, consume full fuel to get there, but artillery only uses about 1/3 its alloted ammunition. Putin expected no massive equipment losses or manpower costs. So budget..

3 Day War, daily cost:

Fuel \$15M
Artillery \$157M*
Mortar \$31M*
Missiles \$120M
Oth ammo \$10M*
Compensation \$0M
Mercenaries \$0M
Equipment lost \$0M
Total daily cost: \$333M

3 DAY WAR TOTAL COST: \$1 Billion dollars

* 1/3 of maximum daily

Vladimir Putin's budget for this 3 day war was quite clearly \$1 Billion dollars. That is why it was 190,000 men, rather than 200,000... it is clear, this \$1 Billion is the magic number he believed in, and told his army to plan for .. oopsie?

How about Putin's 'Plan B'? If the 3 day war failed, he intended to encircle Kyiv, lay siege to it, plant a minefield around it to prevent civilians from escaping & then bombard the capital of 3 million to submission. Like he did to Grozny in Chechnya

Putin intended to do same to all major Ukrainian cities, as we see in Mariupol (9 weeks later, Mariupol has not fallen - #SlavaUkraini - #HeroiamSlava)

Russia tried to encircle Kharkiv (failed) and never made it to try same at Odesa.

The other cities kind of didn't matter, if Putin could lay siege to Kyiv, then the destruction of Kyiv would symbolize all of the fall of Ukraine

Let's budget this, along roughly Grozny numbers, scaled to Kyiv

Siege of Kyiv Daily Cost:
Fuel \$2M*
Artillery \$48M**
Mortar \$10M**
Missiles \$0M
Oth ammo \$3M**
Compensation \$0M
Mercenaries \$0M
Equipment lost \$0M
Total daily cost: \$63M

6 MONTH WAR TOTAL COST: \$11.3 B dollars

* 10% daily
** 1/3 in Kyiv, fire 1/3

Remember, Putin assumed his air force would decimate Ukraine's, so the missile no longer needed after Day 3. All of Ukraine would be overrun by his troops so no need to maneuver. He expected smaller towns to fall fast

So only Kyiv needed bombardment

And one last thing, as this is Plan B, of course our cost of Plan B is on top of cost of Plan A. \$1 Billion plus \$11 Billion = \$12 Billion.

If Putin failed to grab Ukraine cheaply for \$1 Billion, he could still get Ukraine for a bargain cost of \$12 B

Putin thought he could take Ukraine in 3 days, and his war would cost \$1 Billion. His 'Plan B' would take 6 months, cost \$12 B

Reality is that in 2 months this war cost Russia \$34 B, adding \$1 B more every 2 days. A war he cannot win

#SlavaUkraini

THANK YOU

In just the first 8 hours since I posted this Thread on Russian costs of Ukraine war, you have spread it so widely it has been read by over a quarter of a million people on Twitter

Vastly beyond my own reach of 150K ..on a Saturday!

Thank you!

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More from @tomiahonen

May 2
Great chart!

first, note this chart has 8 Generals. We have seen reporting it is now up to 11 Generals. This chart is 'conservative'. Major Generals command Divisions

The Colonel & Lt Colonel level command Regiments. So about 48 Regiments (ea 2,000 troops) have lost commander
By this count 8 Generals out of about 20 sent to Ukraine have died (40%)

And if we simplify that every Russian in Ukraine serves in some 'Regiment' of 2,000 then 190,000 / 2,000 = 95 Regiments. And 50% of those have lost their commander

These numbers have a logical consistency
Lastly note, an officer lost in battle will always be replaced. The immediate command moves to the next highest ranked officer, so a Major would take over from the staff of the dead Colonel, temporarily, until a new officer is sent (or someone is promoted etc)
May 1
So to be clear

Ukraine will win the war on the ground. They are steadily making progress winning back territory from the invader, and Russia's Donbas campaign is close to being kaput

But even as Ukraine defeats the ARMY of Russia on the ground, that won't bring Russia to...
..so even as Ukraine will win the battles, those victories will not bring Russia to negotiate a cease-fire, simply because of Russia being a nuclear power. Ukraine cannot press its victories onto Russian soil and take territory there, for leverage (like Israel into Egypt 1973)...
..as Ukraine will not be able to force Russia to negotiate for a ceasefire (and eventually peace treaty) the way to end the carnage of civilians by the butchering barbarian Russian monsters, is through sanctions. It is the sanctions that will end this war. Sanctions on oligarchs
May 1
\$15 Billion per month = \$180B per year

Can Russia afford to pay 12% of its GDP to wage the brutal war in Ukraine?

Unfortunately yes. Remember, USA spent 40% of its GDP to wage last 2 years of WW2. Russia can afford this but it brings significant pain, just out of the costs
The costs of waging this war were partly paid for Russians in taxes in years gone by.

To replace the lost equipment and reubild the stockpiles will cause long term pain to Russian taxpayers (and not all will be replaced, would be too expensive)
But the CURRENT costs to Russia far exceed the cost of fighting the war on the ground in Ukraine. The damage to Russian economy causes a similar cost this year, as the total cost for a year fighting in Ukraine (you could say it doubles the cost)
Apr 29
LOL I was wondering why suddenly so many people were commenting on my old Tweets about Russian tanks having their turrets blown off, some hours ago. Seems CNN apparently ran a 'breaking' story about Jack In The Box flaw in Russian tanks

THAT IS NOT BREAKING NEWS, idiots at CNN !
It is not 'breaking news' that Russian tanks T 90, T 80 and T 72 have a 'jack in the box' design flaw, that they are vulnerable to catastrophic failure where their whole turret flies off

THIS IS A KNOWN FLAW. Every tanker in EVERY ARMY knows this. It has been so for FOUR DECADES
Hey moron incompetents at CNN. Do not list as 'breaking news' a design fault that was reported on by YOUR NETWORK in the 1991 gulf war, damn! That was over three DECADES ago! You guys are incompetent! Damned 'breaking' news from decades ago? IDIOTS !!!!
Apr 29
And to be clear. Criminal prosecution of all who plotted biggest criminal conspiracy in US history (Jan 6th) is conducted at DOJ, in secrecy, and at enormous resources & proficiently under Attorney General Merrick Garland. They are systematically flipping criminals layer by layer
The CRIMINAL prosecution of Jan 6th organizers has NOTHING to do with Congressional Jan 6th hearings. Garland & DOJ have achieved confessions & flips of leaders in 2 key groups of violent organizers (Proud Boys, Oath Keepers) and will take every organizer into prison incl Trump
The way a criminal prosecution of a mafia boss is done, is you start from bottom & get some to flip on their bosses, then get those bosses to flip on their bosses, on up, until mafia boss (in case of Jan 6th, Trump himself) is caught & then convicted.

EVERYBODY GOES TO PRISON
Apr 29
BUT I have a second thought about these 10 in the #PutinCaucus

A name I am curiously following was conspicuous in its absense. Remember the three 'R Congressmen' that Trump ratted out to DOJ that were plotting to overturn the election, before Jan 6th? These 3 assholes?
This was a House vote so the corrupt Senator from Wisconsin, Johnson vote was not counted here

Pennsylvania's own traitor, Perry voted for Putin

But where is Gym Jordan?

Oh, did you spot it? Gym was NOT joining the vote for genocide...
We know the chairman of the American Gargoyle Association, Gosar was involved also in planning of Jan 6th

So of the 3 House members who planned Jan 6th, Gosar & Perry were voting for Putin. But of Jan 6th planners, Gym Jordan did not vote for Putin... fascinating