The Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) Commander-in-Chief General Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky appears to have mistakenly admitted his troops have suffered major losses in Ukraine.
In its latest intelligence update, the British Ministry of Defence noted the high-ranking official appeared during the annual celebration of the VDV held on August 2 with a recorded address.
The MoD said in its assessment: “The VDV’s Commander-in-Chief General Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky said that 8500 paratroopers had been wounded and later returned to duty or had refused to leave the front line at all.”
The video, the MoD added, was “quickly deleted” from the Russian Ministry of Defence’s official channels, leading to think General Colonel Teplinsky had shared that number without the approval of his country’s Defence leadership.
This perceived blunder, described by the UK’s MoD as an “apparently unsanctioned disclosure of the scope of the casualties the elite force has suffered in Ukraine”, ended up overshadowing the celebration, the Defence Ministry wrote.
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Moreover, General Colonel Teplinsky’s admission allowed international observers to make an estimate of the number of troops that had been killed or were too seriously wounded to return to duty, despite him not commenting on that.
The MoD said: “Extrapolating Teplinksy’s figures endorses the assessment that at least 50 percent of the 30,000 paratroopers who deployed to Ukraine in 2022 have been killed or wounded.”
This isn’t the first admission regarding Russian troops seemingly made by mistake.
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In mid-June, Vladimir Putin himself was seemingly caught in a slip of the tongue as he made a rare admission on Russian war losses.
During a press conference with Russian military bloggers and reporters, he slammed the Ukrainian counter-offensive as not successful, claiming Kyiv was suffering “big losses”.
After claiming Russian losses “are one-tenth of the losses of the Ukrainian forces”, he made the rare choice of providing details of the damages suffered by Moscow’s troops since the beginning of the counter-offensive, saying Russia had lost a whopping 54 tanks.
He said: “As for our losses – let the Defence Ministry talk about other indicators and personnel – I said they lost over 160 tanks and we lost 54 tanks, some of which can be restored and repaired.”
Putin’s claim about the vehicles Ukraine lost in the first few days of its counter-offensive was not supported by independent analyses.
While it is difficult to gauge from the Russian military the true extent of the losses experienced by its army since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian publication Kyiv Post claims more than 249,000 troops sent to Ukraine by the Kremlin have been lost, alongside 4237 tanks and 8262 armoured vehicles.
Last week alone, Russia saw two ships – a tanker and Navy landing ship – being struck by seaborne drones from Ukraine.
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