https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/19351750/russia-lost-soldiers-ukraine-war-disaster/

AT least 75,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or injured in the Ukraine war disaster, the US has claimed.

In a devastating blow for Vladimir Putin, it’s believed half the number of troops committed to the war by Russia are now casualties.

A Ukrainian soldier stands on a destroyed Russian tank near the front line in Kharkiv regionCredit: AFP
A man rides his bike as flames rise following a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 22 this year
A man rides his bike as flames rise following a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 22 this yearCredit: AP
Lieutenant Colonel Maksim Potyomin was killed in a HIMARS strike on their motorcade in eastern Ukraine
Lieutenant Colonel Maksim Potyomin was killed in a HIMARS strike on their motorcade in eastern UkraineCredit: East2West
A Russian serviceman stands guard in an area near the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on June
A Russian serviceman stands guard in an area near the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on JuneCredit: AFP

Western officials previously estimated Russia had put forward as many as 150,000 troops.

Accurate casualty rates are estimated on both sides, the US warned, with ranges provided instead of specific numbers, the Telegraph reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed the war has already killed 40,000 Russians while tens of thousands more have been injured.

Russia refuses to reveal its true toll or to officially name more than a handful of those killed in its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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The gag on details of casualties is evidently to discourage a popular backlash against Putin’s war by obscuring its true horror.

Last week, the CIA director estimated that 60,000 Russian soldiers had died or been wounded while some believe the number to more accurately be around 80,000.

The latest figure appears in line with a Russian estimate that more than 56,500 soldiers, national guards and private military company fighters have been killed.

The Biden administration released the classified estimates to lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

New names of Russian colonels killed in Ukraine also emerged, taking the staggering total to have been lost during the five-month war to 93.

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A head count of colonels and lieutenant-colonels revealed almost a dozen new names, highlighting the chronic losses among the higher ranks.

Among the 11 new names is 2nd rank captain Alexander Bobrov, 36, whose rank was equivalent to lieutenant-colonel.

He was commander of a minesweeper division of the 184th brigade of ships at Novorossiysk naval base.

A dozen generals have also been killed in the five-month-long war started by Putin.

Military planners have resorted to recruiting prisoners and hiring mercenaries in ex-Soviet republics to fill the places of those lost.

The Russian defence ministry denied “ongoing mobilisation measures” in response to speculation Putin is poised for a mass call-up of military age men.

A report by military news agency Interfax-AVN said mass mobilisation was “not currently underway”.

Separately an informed source said: “The Kremlin has looked at a general mobilisation but has not proceeded for fear of the anger it would provoke, and possible political consequences.”

The defence ministry said: “Only part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is involved in the special military operation, and its strength is quite sufficient to perform all objectives set by the supreme commander-in-chief [Putin].”

Just days ago, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said detailed assessments show President Vladimir Putin’s plan has spectacularly failed.

His military is now so weakened, Ukrainians are increasingly confident they will soon reclaim all their old borders.

Sir Tony said: “They are absolutely clear they plan to restore the whole of their territory in terms of Ukraine.

“They see a Russia that is struggling, a Russia we assess has lost over 30 per cent of its land combat effectiveness.”

Finland and Norway have also wrecked Putin’s bid to divide and weaken the western alliance by applying to join Nato.

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Sir Tony said: “Russia had the ambition to create fractures as a challenge to the world order.

“Russia is failing in all of those ambitions.”

Rescuers and policemen inspect a site of a missile strike in Odesa area, Ukraine
Rescuers and policemen inspect a site of a missile strike in Odesa area, UkraineCredit: EPA
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