Russia’s mounting death toll in Ukraine has passed the grim milestone of 110,000 as Vladimir Putin continues to suffer major humiliations in his botched invasion, Kyiv claims. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine says around 110,400 Kremlin troops have been killed in the ten-month war. The milestone is the latest blow to Putin’s erratic campaign which has seen dozens of high-profile generals killed.
Troops on the frontline, now stacked with reservists, have complained of being under-prepared and ill-equipped for battle, leaving them sitting ducks for Ukraine’s fightback which has forced Russian withdrawals.
On top of the casualties, Putin has also lost a staggering amount of military equipment, with more than 3,000 tanks, 5,981 armored combat vehicles, 475 anti-air missiles, 6,500 supply trucks, 1,100 special vehicles, 2,200 command vehicles and 1,978 artillery systems destroyed. A further 283 aircraft, 267 helicopters, 653 cruise missiles and 16 ships have been blitzed in the brutal conflict.
To turn the tide on his failing campaign, Putin yesterday dramatically escalated the war by bolstering his troops by 350,000 and raising his nuclear combat readiness. The war-mongering despot warned the Kremlin will invest whatever necessary to increase its nuclear arsenal and vowed his Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles will be available to his forces within weeks.
New military units will be formed on Russia’s western borders to terrorize and scold Finland and Sweden for seeking to join NATO in the face of Kremlin aggression. In his speech to defense chiefs in Moscow, Putin made a series of rare and frank concessions about his invasion, admitting there were ‘problems’ with his mobilization and acknowledging vague ‘criticism’ of his military strategy. He said the country’s military should learn lessons and modernize based on its experiences in Ukraine and special emphasis will go to developing his country’s nuclear forces, which he described as ‘the main guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty.’ Defense minister Sergei Shoigu also declared plans to form new military units in western Russia to, as Kremlin chiefs prepared for a new phase in the war which is entering its tenth month.
Putin also acknowledged that the call-up of 300,000 reservists that he ordered in September had not gone smoothly. ‘The partial mobilization that was carried out revealed certain problems, as everyone well knows, which should be promptly addressed,’ he said.
The call-up drew strong criticism even from Kremlin allies, as it emerged that military commissariats were enlisting many men who were physically unfit or too old, and new recruits were lacking basic equipment such as sleeping bags and winter clothing.
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