Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Putin’s Losses Laid Bare As 21,800 Russian Troops Killed – Ukraine

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Ukraine’s staunch defence against Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion has resulted in the deaths of 21,800 Russian fighters, it was claimed last night.

As the scale of Russia ’s military losses were laid bare in new figures released by the Ukrainian Land Forces, it emerged that more children were killed in indiscriminate shelling by Putin’s army.

Two girls, aged five and 14, died when a residential building in Ocheretynsk, in the Donetsk region, was hit.

Their tragic deaths mean 213 children have lost their lives in the conflict, the day after a three-month-old baby died with her young mother and grandmother when their home was hit in a rocket attack in Odesa.

A further 389 children have been seriously injured since Putin launched his offensive on February 24 .

Military incompetence and poor preparation are thought to be hampering Russia’s plans.

Troop losses have been put down to poor tactical decisions by Russian leaders and a considerable underestimation of the capabilities of Ukraine ’s armed forces.

Commanders are targeting civilians, as well as Ukrainian bases and weapons depots in retribution for the resistance.

The latest statistics showed that a total of 873 tanks are said to have been destroyed, along with 2238 armoured vehicles, 179 planes, 154 helicopters and 408 artillery systems.

Russia’s biggest humiliation was suffered when its Black Sea fleet flagship sank after it was hit by two missiles.

On February 24, Russia’s land army consisted of 280,000 full-time active soldiers compared with Ukraine’s 125,600 .

But the amount of Russian soldiers needed to seize the whole country and control the entire population would be close to one million, according to Michael Clarke, a visiting professor in King’s College London’s department of war studies.

Ahead of an expected visit to the capital Kyiv by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Department of State spokesperson Ned Price told the BBC : “This is going to be a victory for Ukraine; it is going to be a strategic defeat for Russia.”

Despite a hoped-for truce over the weekend for Orthodox Easter celebrations, Russian planes continued to drop bombs on the Azovstal steelworks plant in besiegd Mariupol – where the city’s last Ukrainian defenders are holed-up Although Putin’s forces have been strategically moved away from Mariupol for the new focus on the Donbas, units hunkered down inside tunnels underneath the vast plant are still being targeted.

Read Also: “We Have Seen The Cruel Face Of Putin’s Army” – Ursula von der Leyen Says As She Meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky In Kyiv
Hundreds of civilians are also trapped inside, and will be starved to death, in a plan announced directly by Putin last week.

“Naval artillery and cannons are being used, tanks are firing, and there are infantry attempts to storm,” said Svyatoslav Palamar, a deputy commander of the Azov regiment, in a video address sent out from the tunnels.

While many Ukrainians across the country were celebrating Easter, in Mariupol “the enemy is dropping bombs on the heads of innocent children”, he added.

Read Also: “Russia Will Not Forget Britain’s Desire To Co-operate With Ukraine…London Has Made A Final Choice Of Open Confrontation With Russia” – Putin Threatens Britain
The Azov regiment, along with a Marine brigade, border guards and police officers, are now the last Ukrainian defenders left in the strategic city on the Sea of Azov coast.

Meanwhile, efforts to help up to 100,000 civilians escape the devastated south-eastern city through a humanitarian corridor collapsed once again, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk said.

Earlier, she accused Russia of plotting to run its own parallel pathway out of Mariupol that would have conducted citizens to Russian territory.

It comes as Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelensky said that his country would abandon peace talks with Moscow if Russia kills any of Mariupol’s last defenders.

He said the same would apply if it held a staged independence referendum in the occupied city of Kherson, as happened in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Ukrainian president praised Britain’s efforts in training his military amid accusations the UK blocked requests to strengthen Kyiv’s defences after Russia’s first strike eight years ago.

He said that the UK, along with the US, was supplying the “biggest military aid” in its struggle against Moscow’s invading forces.

In a phone call earlier on Saturday, he personally thanked Boris Johnson for Britain providing training on home soil, with Ukraine’s armed forces being taught how to use armoured vehicles that are being given to boost the war effort in eastern Europe.

But a former defence secretary accused previous Downing Street operations of being reluctant to support Kyiv in the aftermath of Russian president Vladimir Putin ’s annexing of Crimea in 2014 .

Michael Fallon claimed that, when serving under former Conservative prime minister David Cameron , he was told to turn down requests for assistance in upgrading Ukraine’s defences despite the Ministry of Defence wanting “to do more”.

“We were stymied and we were blocked in Cabinet from sending the Ukrainians the arms they needed,” Mr Fallon said. “Some in the Cabinet felt extremely strongly that we should do nothing to further provoke Russia. I felt that was absurd. The Russians didn’t need any provoking. They were already there, sending people across the border.”

Today Russia’s defence ministry said its high-precision missiles struck nine Ukrainian military targets overnight, including four arms depots in the Kharkiv region where artillery weapons were stored.

In an Orthodox Easter message President Zelensky vowed that no “wickedness” will destroy the country and prayed that God returns happiness to children and brings solace to grieving mothers.

Standing inside one of the country’s best known landmarks, the 1,000-year-old Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, he declared: “Today, we still believe in the new victory of Ukraine and we are all convinced that we will not be destroyed by any horde or wickedness.

“We are overcoming dark times and on this day I – and most of us – are not in bright clothes, but we are fighting for a luminous idea.”

He drew a comparison between the suffering caused by Covid and the struggles of war.

Addressing his compatriots, he said: “Last year we celebrated Easter at home because of the pandemic. This year, we also celebrate the resurrection of Christ not as we used to. Because of another virus. Because of the plague called war.

“Both last year’s and this year’s threat are united by the same thing: nothing can defeat Ukraine.”

Pope Francis has joined others in calling for a truce marking Orthodox Easter – which is an important event in both Ukraine and Russia.

His calls, however, went unheeded.

Photo Credit: Getty 

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