Russia’s death toll in the Ukraine war now stands at more than 46,000, the Ukrainian military said in a new update on Friday. Ukraine’s armed forces provide regular daily updates on Russia’s casualties and its losses of military equipment. Western officials estimate the Russian death toll to be even higher, between 70,000 and 80,000. However, the Kremlin, which tells its people the war is just a “special operation” has still only acknowledged 1,351 Russian deaths in its last update from March.
Even as his side continues to experience heavy losses, Putin appears delusional about how his troops are faring in Ukraine, according to a leading military expert.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr John Callahan said: “The Russians live in World War 2. They live in the great patriotic war. They talk about how their efforts succeeded and how awesome that was.
“To be fair, the UK lives there too a little bit, or at least they did, maybe over the last 10 or 20 years.”
He added: “But the Russians, unlike the Brits, have weaponised World War 2 and used it in their propaganda.
“The thing is, that leaves them very vulnerable because it goes back to this whole manpower thing.
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“The Russians will tell you that their manpower won World War 2, and everybody else on earth will tell you that the US and UK, specifically destroying the German economy so that they could not actually supply their troops anymore, won World War 2.
“My point is that just having blood to spend is not good enough. And shovelling more bodies in is not good enough.”
Dr Callahan of New England College in the US is a former diplomat and US State Department official.
Now working as a military adviser, he has analysed the war for Express.co.uk and the propaganda Russia has used.
He said: “A lot of the things that we see that we think are clumsy attempts at propaganda directed at us, well it looks clumsy, because it wasn’t directed at us.
This week BBC News interviewed the mother of 24-year-old Russian soldier Yevgeny Chubarina.
The inexperienced conscript was handed a gun, sent to Ukraine and was killed with days.
Nina Chubarina, who lives in northern Russia, blasted Russia’s recruitment of her son and other inexperienced young men to make up for its heavy losses in the conflict.
She said: “I tried to talk him out of it. I cried. I said, ‘There’s a war, you’ll be killed!’ He said, ‘Mum, everything will be fine.’
“They just send them in like dumb little chickens! They’d hardly even held a gun before.
“They’re cannon fodder. The generals think, ‘We’ve got a volunteer: great, in you go!'”