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Putin's war chaos laid bare: BBC analysis finds 1 in 5 dead Russian troops were OFFICERS


The BBC analysis found out of 1,083 Russian soldiers killed, more than 20 percent were officers.

Out of the identified casualties, as many as 155 servicemen ranked between captain and second lieutenant have been killed. In addition, at least seven Russian generals were killed in the fighting – more than during the entire 10-year brutal Soviet campaign in Afghanistan.

The BBC Russian Service also counted that 31 majors sent over to Ukraine to oversee the invasion were also killed by Ukraine.

Another 15 percent of the identified casualties were elite paratroopers and 25 percent were special forces personnel.

Their bodies have been returned back to Russia, some as long as a month after their death suggesting there could be many more.

Unusual Kremlin tactics have seen high-ranking officers being sent to the battlefield to make tactical decisions.

Unlike Russia, Western forces reserve these roles for non-commissioned officers.

The elite paratroopers identified as dead were likely killed in the battle for Hostomel airport near Kyiv.

They were deployed by helicopter at the start of the invasion and sent with unarmoured light vehicles.

Oleksiy Melnyk, a retired colonel and director at the Razumkov Centre, said: “VDV (Russian Airborne Forces) are considered to be the most combat-ready, effective, but at the same time they are not usually equipped with infantry fighting vehicles.

READ MORE: Zelensky says Ukrainians deported to Russian concentration camps

Kyiv’s latest estimates suggest Russia has lost more than 4,000 military vehicles since the invasion began in February.

In addition, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence estimates more than 19,500 Russian troops have been killed by Ukraine’s much smaller army.

A 2015 decree allows the Kremlin to play down military casualties declaring all deaths a state secret.

But while Moscow has made efforts to conceal its true losses, Ukraine has boasted each time its forces have killed a high-ranking Russian officer.

Putin is thought to have planned for a short and sharp invasion lasting only a few days but the number of both Russian troops and senior officers allegedly killed so far has shocked Western military and security officials.



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