A RUSSIAN conscript who was pushed to go to the frontline by his own wife has been killed just days after arriving in Ukraine.
Dad-of-two Ilya Korolev, 29, was called up during Putin's part-mobilisation last month as the desperate despot attempted to bolster invasion efforts.
The tyrant demanded thousands more conscripts be scrambled to Ukraine as Moscow continued to lose ground on the battlefield.
One of the 300,000 reservists catapulted into war in late September was Korolev, who had been working as a loader at a meat-packing plant.
But just days after joining Putin's rag-tag army, he was killed in a combat mission in the Kherson region.
His devastated widow Anastasia Koroleva has told how she was the one who made him go as she urged him to "not be a coward".
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She told E1 RU: "We did not believe in this whole situation. It didn't seem to be about us.
"But then came the summons to his work. He was very worried and afraid.
"But I myself told him: 'Go, don’t be a coward, you will protect me and our children."
Anastasia said her husband left on September 27 and was taken to a training unit before being sent to the Rostov region.
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They were promised a month of training, but within a week were plunged into battle.
Anastasia said she had told their children, six and two, that their dad was on a business trip.
She said she has struggled to tell the youngsters about Korolev's death
Anastasia added: "I did not expect it to happen to me, and even so quickly.
"I just don’t have the heart to tell them, they are still very small. Ilya loved children so much, just with all his heart."
A representative of the military registration and enlistment office said Korolev died after coming under "intense military fire" in the Kherson region.
Putin ordered thousands of extra troops into Ukraine as his soldiers lost swathes of territory in Ukraine.
Russia has lost some $1 billion in military equipment during the blitz, which has seen tanks and ammunition abandoned by fleeing battalions as Ukraine recaptures swathes of land.
It comes after Russian troops ordered thousands of civilians to flee as Ukraine prepares a new offensive to retake a key city.
Up to 60,000 are set to quit Kherson in days as Putin’s generals said the situation was “tense” and “difficult”.
Ukrainian forces are advancing along the Dnipro’s west bank in a bid to recapture the city and encircle thousands of Russian troops.
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The city is key because it provides crossings for supplies, troops and civilians, drinking water for southern Ukraine and the annexed Crimean peninsula, and power from a hydroelectric station.
There are growing fears Russia is now plotting to blow up the Kakhovka dam to flood the city.
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