Putin’s invasion nightmare exposed by insider as as ‘tens of thousands’ of Russians dead

Putin predicted to starve the West this winter if he loses Ukraine conflict

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is no closer to ending over five months on from its start. Shelling has been directed dangerously close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the south of Ukraine, a unit that is still being run by Ukrainian staff in an area that has been seized by Russian forces. Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for the shelling of the site. The clashes near Zaporizhzhia come as part of a wider battle as Ukraine looks to gain back some of the ground lost early on.

While Moscow’s forces have taken control of much of the south and east of the country, Russian forces have not achieved what most thought they would at the start of the war: capturing Kyiv.

Now, Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith tells Express.co.uk that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be “rueing the day” he decided to invade Ukraine.

Slamming the “disastrous” Russian invasion, Sir Iain said: “It has been a disaster for them, let’s not beat around the bush. The invasion of Ukraine has been an unmitigated disaster for Russia.

“That should be a lesson to all dictatorships – be careful what you wish for.

“At the end of it all, people believing in their country will defend to the end what they know to be the most important thing, their homeland.”

He also highlighted the crushing losses Russia has suffered during the conflict: “I don’t know what losing looks like, but I do know that right now they must be regretting and rueing the day that they tried to set out to do this.

“The Russians have lost tens of thousands of people, incalculable amounts of equipment destroyed, and if it were not for the propaganda in Russia, mothers and fathers of sons that have been killed would already be demanding that they withdraw.

“Never before was a more stupid decision taken by one particular man, with what is quite clearly a lust of power.”

Russia does not regularly release information on the losses it has suffered in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the US Pentagon’s under secretary of defence for Policy, Colin Kahl, estimated that between 70,000 and 80,000 Russians have lost their lives in the fighting.

He told reporters: “There’s a lot of fog in the war but I think it’s safe to suggest that the Russians have probably taken 70,000 or 80,000 casualties in less than six months.

“Now that is a combination of killed in action and wounded in action and that number might be a little lower, a little higher, but I think that’s kind of in the ballpark.”

Moscow has also suffered big losses when it comes to military hardware too, according to reports.

The Kyiv Independent cited Ukraine’s military statistics, which claim Russia has lost 223 planes, 1,805 tanks, 191 helicopters since the start of the invasion.

Military experts have said that a crucial stage of the war is approaching as Ukraine prepares to try and retake the city of Kherson.

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Located in the south of Ukraine the city has been occupied by Russian forces since March.

Peter Dickinson, editor of the Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert Service, wrote an article for the think tank’s website earlier this month explaining that Kherson is “strategically vital” for both sides.

He added that, should Ukraine liberate the city, it would be “personally humiliating for Vladimir Putin”.

Mr Dickinson outlined that because Kherson is the only city on the western side of the Dnipro river under Russian control it “holds the key to Russian ambitions in southern Ukraine.”

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