Russians lose record 1,000 troops in a day
... as MoD finds deaths among poor up to 40 times higher than city elites
A ReCORD 1,090 Russian troops were killed in the space of just one day, Kyiv claimed yesterday.
The death toll for Saturday is 60 higher than the previous 24-hour record for Kremlin losses on February 6, according to Ukraine’s armed forces.
In all, 159,000 Russians are reported to have died so far in the war, with death rates among Russian men much higher in remote eastern regions and among ethnic minorities than in Moscow and St Petersburg, according to the Ministry of Defence.
The MoD’s daily intelligence briefing on the war yesterday revealed how Russia’s elite has been shielded from the appalling slaughter on the frontline.
As vladimir Putin’s forces remain bogged down in stalemate more than a year after his illegal invasion of Ukraine, it is men far away from the metropolitan centres who continue to bear the brunt.
The MoD says that as a proportion of local populations, the casualties from remote regions are ‘30-40 times’ higher than from Moscow, where Mr Putin and his top brass are based.
The MoD assessment said: ‘As Russia
‘Ethnic minorities take the biggest hit’
continues to suffer extremely heavy casualties, the impact varies dramatically across Russia’s regions.
‘In proportion to the size of their population, the richest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been left relatively unscathed. This is especially true for the families of the country’s elite.
‘On 21 February, Russian senior officials were photographed making up the front two rows of the audience of president Putin’s state of the nation speech. None of these are known to have children serving in the military.’
Instead it is ethnic minority and geographically-distant groups that are being conscripted as cannon fodder.
The MoD wrote in its briefing: ‘In many places, ethnic minorities take the biggest hit: in Astrakhan some 75 per cent of casualties come from the minority Kazakhs and Tartar populations.’
Meanwhile a US think-tank said that Russia’s advance seems to have stalled in its campaign to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Russian forces and units from the Kremlin-controlled paramilitary Wagner Group continue to launch ground attacks in the city, but there has been no evidence they have made any progress.
The report cited the spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces’ eastern Group, Serhii Cherevaty, saying that the brutal ground warfare in the mining city has been more intense this week, including 23 clashes in the city over the previous 24 hours.
The assessment highlighted that Russia’s assault will be difficult to sustain without more significant personnel losses. Russia’s military opened the campaign to take control of Bakhmut in August, and both sides have experienced staggering casualties.
Russian mercenary chief yevgeny Prigozhin said that his Wagner private army had opened new recruitment centres in 42 cities as he seeks to replenish its ranks after heavy losses in fighting for Bakhmut. The city is crucial to gain a foothold for taking all of the Donbas region.
But Ukrainian president volodymyr Zelensky has vowed not to retreat, and his forces are planning a major spring advance to reclaim more annexed territory.
The ISW report also cited ‘infighting in the Kremlin inner circle’ over the faltering state of the war and Russia’s inability to fully control information among its citizens.
Russia’s defence ministry, meanwhile, claimed that its forces killed 220 Ukrainian soldiers and destroyed ten armoured vehicles in Donetsk on Saturday.