Putin on the alleged Ukrainian attack in western Russia
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Vladimir Putin’s “real vulnerability” has been exposed as Russian troops are reported to be dying at enormous rates in Ukraine – much like they did in another pivotal conflict that brought down the Soviet Union. Former US Ambassador Sarah Mendelson said the number of casualties could be a “real vulnerability” for the Russian President because of the impact on families in the country. She said a similar issue had emerged during the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, arguably sparking the bloc’s complete collapse.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mendelson said: “The casualty rate…there’s a whole industry looking at the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
“The official number of dead is at about 15,000, some people think 90,000, for a 10-year stretch.
“UK, US intelligence and defence estimates are upward to 200,000 at this point [in Ukraine].
“You’re seeing a much higher number of casualties in terms of Russia in Ukraine. I think that’s the real vulnerability.”
JUST IN: Vomiting passengers left stranded for 9 hours after plane lands at closed airport
The former US Ambassador to the UN noted Russians are unlikely to start opposing the lengthy invasion of Ukraine because of the crimes against humanity troops have been accused of carrying out.
But she noted the war’s impact on families could pose significant issues for Putin in the long term.
Mendelson continued: “Eventually, at some point, this war is affecting far more Russian families than even the Soviet war in Afghanistan or the second war in Chechnya.
“There the casualty rate is what people cared about – they cared about the cost of the war, they cared about the casualty rate.”
‘Russian Volunteer Corps’ telegram claims to be behind mission
She added: “They may not care about the complete slaughter of Ukrainian children, women and men but they will be responsive to the casualty rate.”
Academics have long claimed Russia’s inability to make significant advances over ten years in Afghanistan, paired with the considerable death rate among soldiers, played a pivotal role in the Soviet Union’s downfall.
And with Putin now a year into his invasion of Ukraine, questions have arisen about his ability to deliver on his plan to annex more Ukrainian territory into Russia.
Earlier this year, Moscow signalled the draft age could be raised to 30 as early as the spring in its efforts to expand its soldier availability
Russian military mocked for ‘year-long’ Bakhmut battle[ANALYSIS]
Russia’s Rublev renews call for ‘peace’ as star explains new message [VIDEO]
Ukraine using drones made of cardboard to attack Russians [LATEST]
After months of stalling because of the winter, the Russian Army has renewed its efforts to advance across Ukraine – with the city of Bakmuth once again at the centre of the fight.
Russian forces this week have continued to encroach on the devastated eastern Ukrainian city but its defenders still denied the Kremlin the prize it has sought for six months at the cost of thousands of lives.
Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said: “Civilians are fleeing the region to escape Russian shelling continuing round the clock as additional Russian troops and weapons are being deployed there.”
Bakhmut doesn’t have any major strategic value, and analysts say its possible fall is unlikely to bring a turning point in the conflict. Its importance has become psychological. A victory in the area would finally deliver some good news to Putin.
The boss of Russia’s private Wagner army blamed Moscow’s failure to provide ammunition for the failed assault. Yevgeny Prigozhin pinned the failure on “bureaucracy or betrayal” in a swipe at the Kremlin.
Follow our social media accounts here on facebook.com/ExpressUSNews and @expressusnews
Source: Read Full Article