Meat Grinder: Russia suffered 2,600 casualties in two days in Kharkiv offensive

Russia has suffered its two deadliest days of war back to back, losing 1,270 troops on Sunday and 1,290 yesterday.

The upward trend in deaths comes after Western nations gave Ukraine the go-ahead to use their weapons to strike inside Russia.

Ukraine is intending to ask its allies to lift more restrictions on using their weapons against Russian targets, according to its foreign minister.

Vladimir Putin suffered 1,270 casualties in 24 hours, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry announced yesterday, marking Russia’s deadliest-ever day in its two-year-old meatgrinder war with Ukraine.

But the figure was topped today as the defence ministry claimed Ukraine’s military had “eliminated” 1,290 more Russians.

The total number of Putin’s troops killed since the tyrant invaded Ukraine is now well above 500,000, according to the ministry.

Ukrainian forces are now said to have killed 512,420 Russian troops and destroyed 7,794 tanks, 15,020 armoured combat vehicles, and 13,345 artillery pieces since the start of the war.

Fifteen of the tanks, 18 of the combat vehicles, and 65 of the artillery systems were eliminated yesterday – as were 27 drones, 69 vehicles and fuel tanks, three air defence systems, and 12 special equipment pieces.

Kyiv says Russian casualty figures have been above 1,000 per day since Moscow launched a new offensive in Kharkiv on May 10.

The surprise offensive has led to Russia’s biggest territorial gains in 18 months, The Guardian reports.

US President Joe Biden last week gave Ukraine permission to use US-made weapons to strike inside Russia, as Putin’s forces continued their attack on Kharkiv and looked to seize more Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine is now seeking further approvals from its allies regarding its right to use their weapons against targets in Russia, according to Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Conflict analysts at The Institute for the Study of War said Western air defence systems and permissions to hit targets in Russia with Western weapons are “crucial for Ukraine to repel Russian glide bomb and missile strikes against Kharkiv city”.

They wrote in an assessment on Sunday: “These policy changes will allow Ukrainian forces to use Western-provided systems to strike Russian firing and staging areas in Russia’s border areas and airspace.”

Ukraine was previously banned from using Western-supplied weapons to strike beyond its borders, as some leaders feared such strikes would lead Putin to further escalate the brutal conflict.

But a handful of Nato countries have softened their positions in the wake of Russia’s new offensive in northeastern Kharkiv.

Ukrainian officials argued they were unable to prevent the onslaught due to Western restrictions on the use of their weapons.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly asked Ukraine’s Western allies for permission to use their weapons on Russian soil.

Dramatic video which surfaced yesterday appeared to show US-made Himars missiles blasting key military targets inside Russia for the first time, following President Biden’s decision to lift the US ban.

Russian sources said on Sunday that the missiles were used in strikes on Russian troops in Belgorod.

The strikes came despite Putin threatening all-out war if Ukraine uses Western weapons to strike Russian soil.

Putin specifically warned that “countries with small territory and dense populations” should be careful.

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