Putin humiliated at loss of 50,000 troops leaves him relying on ‘Army of grandads’

Ukraine: Russia troops on brink of 'deep freeze'

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Russia’s war in Ukraine has been barbaric, with several Ukrainian cities reduced to rubble and thousands of civilians killed. But Vladimir Putin’s troops have suffered several huge setbacks over the past five months after being met by fierce Ukrainian resistance that has seen them forced to retreat out of cities. The war has reportedly already claimed the lives of 50,000 of Putin’s troops – including several high-ranking personnel with close ties to the President.

Russia is now panicking over how heavily depleted its forces have become since the start of the invasion five months ago that it has raised the age limit for service to 50.

War chiefs are offering newly-recruited troops £640-a-month with free medical and dental care in a desperate attempt to plug the gaps left by the huge losses during the war.

Teams in charge of the recruitment process are targeting the Kola Peninsula in Russia’s far north where unemployment is known to be particularly high.

Army officers are also setting up mobile recruitment stands at festivals and fairs throughout the country.

The new troops receive just 12 weeks of training before they are thrown into battle in Ukraine but astonishingly, potential recruits are reportedly not told about Russia’s eye-watering losses.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, who is the head of the UK’s Armed Forces, claimed Putin has lost 50,000 soldiers since the invasion of Ukraine began, while more than 1,700 tanks have been destroyed.

The Chief of Defence Staff said Ukraine’s army “absolutely” believes it will win the war and that Russia has “lost more than 30 percent of its land combat effectiveness”.

He told BBC One’s Sunday Morning show last weekend: “They are absolutely clear that they plan to restore the whole of their territory in terms of Ukraine, and they see a Russia that is struggling, a Russia that we assess has lost more than 30 percent of its land combat effectiveness.

“What that actually means is 50,000 Russian soldiers that have either died or been injured in this conflict, nearly 1,700 Russian tanks destroyed, nearly 4,000 armoured fighting vehicles that belong to Russia destroyed.

“And what you’re seeing is a Russia, if we focus on the Donbas, that is less than 10 percent of the territory of Ukraine.

“We are approaching 150 days, and Russia is struggling to take that territory, and it is struggling because of the courage and determination of the Ukrainian armed forces.”

Admiral Sir Tony added: “Russia started this invasion with the ambition to take the whole of Ukraine. Russia had the ambition to take the cities in the first 30 days. Russia had the ambition to create fractures and to apply pressure to NATO.

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“This is Russia as a challenge to the world order. Russia is failing in all of those ambitions. Russia is a more diminished nation than it was at the beginning of February.”

On Tuesday, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Russia has “struggled to sustain effective offensive combat power since the start of the invasion and this problem is likely becoming increasingly acute”.

The MoD also wrote in a daily intelligence update: “Russia continues to commit what are nominally six separate armies to its Donbas offensive.

“At full strength, before the invasion, these formations were established for around 150,000 personnel.

“In recent weeks, Russia has often operated with company-sized groupings of around 100 personnel when undertaking offensive operations in any one sector at a time.

“As well as dealing with severe under-manning, Russian planners face a dilemma between deploying reserves to the Donbas or defending against Ukrainian counterattacks in the southwestern Kherson sector.

“While Russia may still make further territorial gains, their operational tempo and rate of advance is likely to be very slow without a significant operational pause for reorganisation and refit.”

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