Ukraine: Russian vehicle turns around to flee incoming fire
Ukraine killed nearly 13,000 Russian soldiers last month, according to the country’s Defense Ministry. Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defense has suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly reliant on ill-trained, ill-equipped and raw recruits eight months into the war.
The impressive total is 12,730, averaging more than 400 people per day. This brings the total death toll among Russian troops to at least 71,200 since February 24, the day Putin ordered his invasion, according to Defense Ukraine, the official Twitter page of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, which shares daily updates.
Another 950 soldiers were killed on Sunday, according to unverified figures, as Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces made dramatic gains in Russian-occupied areas as they closed in on the key southern city of Kherson.
Defense HQ, the Ministry of Defense Twitter feed, said today: “Russia has deployed several thousand newly mobilized reservists to the frontline in Ukraine since mid-October. In many cases, they are poorly equipped.
Vladimir Putin has now lost more than 71,000 soldiers, according to Ukraine
Russian soldiers moments before the armored car rolls over
“In September, Russian officers feared that some newly mobilized reservists would arrive in Ukraine unarmed.
Open source footage suggests the rifles that were issued to mobilized reservists were typically AKMs, a weapon first introduced in 1959.
Most were likely to be in “barely usable condition” due to poor storage, the MoD pointed out.
He added: “The AKM fires 7.62mm ammunition while Russia’s regular combat units are mostly armed with 5.45mm AK-74M or AK-12 rifles.
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Tweet from the Ministry of Defense
“The integration of reservists with contract soldiers and veterans in Ukraine will mean that Russian logisticians will have to push two types of small arms ammunition to frontline positions, rather than just one.
“It will likely further complicate Russia’s already strained logistics systems.”
As winter approaches, the Kremlin’s hopes of a quick victory in Ukraine are but a vague and distant memory, as multiple clips circulating on social media illustrate.
In a widely shared video that appears to illustrate the panic gripping Putin’s troops, soldiers are shown rushing to an armored car amid a Ukrainian missile strike, likely in Kherson.
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Vladimir Putin ordered his invasion on February 24
Sergei Shoigu, Russian Minister of Defense
Initially, they can be seen smiling as they speed away – but the vehicle quickly veers into the ditch, the soldiers screaming in fear.
The armored car then flips over, knocking the troops down the road before the screen goes blank.
On Friday, Russia said it had finished calling up reservists to fight in Ukraine, having recruited hundreds of thousands in a month and sent more than a quarter of them already to the battlefield after a mobilization campaign that was the first since the Second World War.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin in a televised meeting in the Kremlin: “The task you have set yourself to mobilize 300,000 people is over. No further action is planned.”
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Shoigu said 82,000 had already been sent to the combat zone and the rest were training.
Putin thanked the reservists “for their dedication to duty, for their patriotism, for their firm determination to defend our country, to defend Russia, which means their home, their family, our citizens, our people.”
Both men acknowledged “problems” at the start of the call, but Shoigu insisted that initial issues with supplying newly mobilized troops had since been resolved.
Putin said mistakes were probably inevitable because Russia hadn’t mobilized for so long, but lessons had been learned.
Volodymyr Zelensky thinks Russia will have to enlist more men
The mobilization ordered by Putin last month after his forces suffered major setbacks on the battlefield was the first time most Russians had suffered a direct personal impact from the ‘special military operation’ he launched in february.
More than 2,000 people have been arrested in anti-mobilization protests, including in parts of Russia populated by ethnic minorities who have complained of being disproportionately targeted to be sent to the front lines.
In his Friday night speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he doubted Moscow was done calling in soldiers.
He said Russian forces “are so ill-prepared and equipped, so brutally used by their command, that it allows us to assume that very soon Russia may need a new wave of people to send to war.”