Report: Deaths in the ranks of the mobilized Russian forces sparked criticism at home

Initial reports of the deaths of Russian conscripts who were forced to fight in Ukraine afterwards President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization order It renewed criticism over Moscow’s lack of control and leadership, a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Thursday.

Russian state media reported That five men mobilized from Chelyabinsk, a city about 1,160 miles east of Moscow, had already died in the fighting, but according to ISW, “pro-war bloggers” suggest the casualty toll is likely much higher.

In this image taken from a video released by the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service, Russian conscripts stand before their military training at Patriot Park outside Moscow on October 1, 2022.
(Press Service of the Russian Ministry of Defense via AP)

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Last month, Putin called up about 300,000 men to fight in Ukraine while his troops were flying a flag there. But Western defense officials are skeptical How will these men be trained or well equipped given the high number of casualties among its contract soldiers.

According to Russian milbloggers, one of the commanders of the 58th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District, Mikhail Zusko, apparently ordered the “immediate deployment without any pre-combat training of the newly mobilized soldiers”.

These recruits were sent to fight for the 15th Regiment of the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade in one of the Most brutal war fronts in Ukraine Near the city of Svatove in Luhansk.

Mailbloggers reported that relatives later found half of that regiment in a Russian hospital in Belgorod Oblast, about 40 miles from Ukraine, after the unit came under heavy fire as it tried to reach the front line near Svatov.

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Zosco, who was previously arrested due to the high death toll of troops under his reign, has reportedly published these Mobilizing soldiers without direct orders, command structure or even supplies.

Another blogger said they witnessed the delivery of the coffins of recently mobilized men to Chelyabinsk, Moscow and Yekaterinburg, a city about 1,100 miles from Moscow.

One blogger on Thursday complained that “the newly mobilized men are being deployed in an indiscriminate manner that will result in 10,000 deaths and 40,000 injuries among them by February 2023,” according to the report.

It is not clear how many Russian soldiers have been killed since the war began.

Russia last month claimed around 6,000 soldiers have been killed, while Ukrainian and Western estimates are significantly higher.

A damaged helmet is seen on the ground at the site where the bodies of four Ukrainian soldiers were found in an area near the border with Russia, in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on September 19, 2022.

A damaged helmet is seen on the ground at the site where the bodies of four Ukrainian soldiers were found in an area near the border with Russia, in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, on September 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

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The US Department of Defense (Pentagon) said that between 70 and 80,000 Russian soldiers have been wounded and killed since the fighting began about eight months ago.

Kyiv’s estimates are even higher, with its Defense Ministry claiming more than 64,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, including 500 on Thursday alone, although those numbers have not been independently verified.

Hundreds of thousands fled Russia on Putin’s orders and thousands were allegedly aspiring to surrender to Ukraine.

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