Putin on brink as Russian losses take toll: ‘Sending men to slaughter’

Ukraine: Putin supporter clashes with host over invasion

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Russia has lost nearly 50,000 personnel so far in Ukraine, the Ukrainian military has said in its latest update of the death toll. Saturday was particularly costly for Putin as Russia also lost 25 tanks and 37 armoured vehicles in the space of 24 hours, according to Ukraine. Russia’s losses of personnel and military hardware come as Ukraine is said to have made major breakthroughs in its ongoing counteroffensive outside the southern city of Kherson.

The long-awaited operation, which was announced last week, is seen as an important juncture of the six-month war.

As Ukrainian troops continue to make dents in the Russian frontline, a military insider has warned Putin may be on the brink of a severe manpower struggle.

Amid Russia’s losses, the Kremlin strongman is merely “serving up more Russians to be slaughtered”, according to US military adviser Dr John Callahan New England College.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “It is not World War 2. You can’t really take a guy off the street and in a week or two of quick training, they’re ready for high intensity warfare.

“Especially when they have to attack and manoeuvre and really be flexible.

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“It is a little bit different if you’re on the defensive, where your training consists of: Here is how you dig a ditch, here is a gun and this is which way you point it.

“That is different. But that type of training will not win Russia anything.

“That will just serve up more Russians to be slaughtered by the Ukrainians.”

Dr John Callahan is a former diplomat and US State Department official, who has been researching Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He addressed some of Russia’s attempts in recent weeks to recruit more men to fight in Ukraine.

The expert explained how Putin risks angering the Russian public if he suddenly sends thousands of more men into the conflict.

He said: “If you do a mass mobilisation, then you can p**s off the masses.

“Putin cannot survive that, or at least we do not think he can.

The expert added: “If you do a mass mobilisation, where do those guys come from?

“They come from factories, they come from agriculture, they come from whatever job they were doing, which is then not getting done.

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“So, your economy goes even more in the toilet, and it becomes a self-licking ice cream cone of failure.”

In recent weeks Russia has ramped up its military recruitment as it seeks to replace the tens of thousands of men who have been killed in Ukraine.

This has included drafting new recruits from Russian prisons and upping the maximum age limit.

Russian army recruiters in St Petersburg even tried to encourage a homeless man to sign up, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) doubted whether Russia’s recruitment would be effective, saying a Russian presidential decree to boost military numbers would have little impact on the war.

In an intelligence update, the MoD said: “It remains unclear whether Russia will attempt to fill this increased allocation from recruiting more volunteer ‘contract’ soldiers, or from increasing the annual targets for the conscription draft.

“In any case, under the legislation currently in place, the decree is unlikely to make substantive progress towards increasing Russia’s combat power in Ukraine.

“This is because Russia has lost tens of thousands of troops; very few new contract servicemen are being recruited; and conscripts are technically not obliged to serve outside of Russian territory.”

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