Updated: Jun 25
The required invasion tools are costly, but not as costly as the human casualties which may ultimately cost Putin his job.
Yesterday, the Kyiv Independent released their daily infographic detailing Russia's losses in their war in Ukraine, with the data coming from the Ukrainian military.
While the Russian casualties are mounting, one number, in particular, stands out in the recent history of warfare.
Russia has now lost over 4,000 tanks from their invasion of Ukraine. That's a rate of 8 tanks per day.
According to the estimates on Wikipedia, when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, they lost about 7 tanks per day.
But a year later, when Germany invaded France, they lost about 18 tanks per day in a shocking handful of weeks.
A year after conquering Western Europe, the German dictator Adolf Hitler made his biggest gamble by invading the Soviet Union. While invading Soviet territory from 1941 through 1942, the Germans lost about 9 tanks per day.
But when the tide turned around 1943, and it was time for the Red Army to invade German-held territory, the Soviets lost tanks at a rate of 57 per day. Most were the infamous T-34.
All the while, the Western allies - the United States and the United Kingdom - were losing over 80 tanks per day between D-day and the end of World War 2 in 1945. Evidently, invasions are incredibly expensive.
To put a price tag on the 4,000 tanks the Russians have now lost in Ukraine is complex. But the most common tank used in Ukraine is the Soviet era T-72 which costs give or take a million dollars.
Therefore, Vladimir Putin has essentially wasted billions of dollars worth of tanks only to advance in and hold mostly rural territory in the east and south.
Their primary and most important target, the Ukrainian government's Kyiv headquarters, is far from Kremlin control.
The Russian army could only get within 31 kilometers of Zelensky's headquarters last year. They gave up after less than 2 months.
The human casualties and their pain cannot be converted into dollars—over 223,000 casualties on the Russian side so far during the conflict.
According to estimates by BBC News Russian & Mediazona, almost 70,000 of the casualties are deaths. The U.S. only suffered about 58,000 deaths during the war in Vietnam.
With the results on paper after almost 500 days of invasion warfare, it is no wonder why Putin's job security is coming more into question.
There are reports this evening that the Wagner group has taken control of the Russian city of Rostov and that the Wagner headquarters in St. Petersburg is being searched.
The private mercenary group - Wagner - is led by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin. He recently vowed revenge on those in the Russian military who he claims launched artillery at his men.
Yevgeny Prigozhin is the only Russian besides Vladimir Putin with an army loyal to him. Only a couple days ago he said in a social media video that the Russian army was misled into invading Ukraine when in reality, Ukraine & Nato were of no danger to Russia.
The Kremlin just today called for him to be detained, followed by bringing armoured vehicles onto the streets of the Russian capital of Moscow.
The worst-case scenario for Putin is that this starts a new Russian civil war. The best-case scenario is that the fight with Prigozhin takes resources away from the Ukraine front just as Ukraine is unleashing its counter-offensive.