Russia appears to be letting on that nearly 10,000 of its soldiers died in the invasion of Ukraine – 20 times the number it previously admitted.
The true Russian death toll from the war has reached around 10,000, according to a report published by Komsomolskaya Pravda on Sunday and quickly deleted from the newspaper’s website. The pro-Kremlin tabloid claimed it was hacked and said “inaccurate information” was released.
Before being deleted from the internet, the article “quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that 9,861 Russian soldiers were killed and 16,153 wounded in more than three weeks of fighting.” The Telegraph reported. Russia has previously acknowledged the deaths of only “around 500 soldiers” during the nearly month-long war.
“Verge of Collapse”
Coupled with suggestions that Russia “botched” its invasion. and the Refusal of major Ukrainian cities to surrender For the invading forces, the actual death toll has heightened concerns that Vladimir Putin may use more brutal tactics to break the country’s resistance.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda article has been replaced with a version that does not include the Ministry of Defense casualty figures. The original cited a figure “similar to a conservative US intelligence estimate” that “at least 7,000 Russian soldiers have died… with up to 21,000 injured,” according to The Telegraph.
If 9,861 soldiers lost their lives during the Ukraine conflict, that would mean that in just under four weeks of fighting, Russia has already lost more soldiers than have been killed in US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
It would also suggest that Russia is suffering losses similar to “the Soviet Union’s long war in Afghanistan in the 1980s,” the newspaper added, when “about 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed” during nine years of fighting the mujahideen.
The extent of Russian casualties became clear when his State Department summoned US Ambassador John Sullivan. America’s senior diplomat in Russia was told he was Joe Biden Description of Putin as a “war criminal” had brought relations between the two countries to the brink of collapse.
“Such statements by the American President, unworthy of a statesman of such high rank, are bringing Russian-US relations to the brink of rupture,” the State Department said in a statement, adding that hostile action would constitute a “firm and determined response.” would receive. .
The scale of Moscow’s losses in Ukraine means that “low morale among Russian troops” “could become a problem,” he said The New York Times (NYT). Such a “high casualty rate” also explains “why Russia’s vaunted military force has largely stalled” outside the capital Kyiv, where troops have been gathering for weeks.
Russia has lost three senior generals in recent weeks, the newspaper added, and as a result its forces “may have pushed closer to the front lines to boost morale”.
“Losses like this affect unit morale and cohesion, especially since this one Soldiers don’t understand why they fightEvelyn Farkas, the top Pentagon official for Russia and Ukraine during the Obama administration, told the NYT. “Their general situational awareness is decreasing. Someone has to drive, someone has to shoot.”
Amid massive casualties, there are growing concerns that Putin could escalate his use of force after Biden warned that the Russian president has “his back against the wall.”
The US President warned yesterday that Putin is “talking about new false flags he is putting up, including claims that we in America have both biological and chemical weapons in Europe – just not true. I guarantee you.”
Biden added: “They also suggest that Ukraine has biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine. That is a clear sign that he is considering using both. He has used chemical weapons in the past and we should watch what comes next.”
In the face of the ongoing bombardment of civilian areas in major cities across the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for “again direct talks” with Putin. Al Jazeera reports that “he is ready for a Compromise to end the nearly month-long war this has triggered an unprecedented refugee crisis”.
The Ukrainian leader has repeatedly hinted that “the status of the contested areas in the east of the country could be up for debate and that Kyiv is ready to shelve its NATO ambitions in exchange for the withdrawal of Russian forces,” the channel added.
lessons of history
Putin may also have an end to the war in mind. Ben Judah, a senior Atlantic Council official, narrated CNN that he has “become the most isolated Russian leader since Stalin”, adding that he “might be more isolated than Stalin in his daily routine”.
“Stalin will be on his mind. Putin is a great history reader, he spends a lot of time reading about the lives of Russia’s tsars and great Soviet leaders. He will remember that Stalin made various miscalculations at the beginning of World War II,” he explained.
Asked if Putin will reflect on whether he misjudged the war, Judah said: “The danger for a dictator in going to war is to show signs of weakness on the battlefield or in negotiations. A dictator always thinks “what does this war mean for my personal security”. Dictators cannot retire, they can only be deposed.
“We can already see that Putin is concerned. He gave this terrifying speech – using much language of Stalinism – a few days ago warned against the fifth column and almost pre-emptively declared war on any oligarchs or officials who might challenge him.”
There are signs of growing unrest in the Kremlin Politically reports that Putin has turned to “purges and paranoia” amid the stalled invasion.
Daily Beast editor Craig Copetas told CBS Inner Edition that Putin has replaced his entire personal staff of 1,000 people. And Christo Grozev, lead investigator for Russia at Bellingcat, tweeted that General Gavrilov, deputy head of the National Guard, was arrested for “leaking military information” or “wasting fuel.”
“One thing is clear,” Grozev said. “Putin realizes the shit this operation is in. It’s so bad that he changes horses in the middle – a big taboo in war.”
The leaking of Russian troop losses will only increase Putin’s sense of isolation in the Kremlin. But “Putin’s paranoia” “only encourages escalation,” according to Dmitri Alperovitch, the Russian-born founder of the Washington-based think tank Silverado Policy Accelerator.
“Three weeks after Russia’s brutal war,” the conflict “is clearly not going as planned for the Kremlin,” he said Foreign Affairs. Russia is “losing the global information war‘ and ‘few expected the invasion to unfold in this way – least of all its architects in Moscow’.
Alperovitch added: “Putin has always been reserved and suspicious.” He was a “creature of the KGB – and more specifically of the KGB’s counterintelligent counterintelligence branch”. But as his invasion deepens, “he’s probably more desperate than ever for a decisive victory.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/russia/956169/what-10000-russian-deaths-mean-for-vladimir-putin What 10,000 Russian deaths mean for Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine plan