Vladimir Putin’s bloody but botched invasion of Ukraine has resulted in more than 75,000 of his troops becoming war casualties, according to US intelligence reports.
The info has been given to lawmakers in a classified briefing by members of president Joe Biden’s administration.
If the number of casualties are anywhere near that figure, it would represent just the latest humiliating blow to Putin, who thought that he’d be able to successfully take over Ukraine in just a few days back in February.
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Instead, the brutal conflict has been raging for five months, and the Russian dictator remains a long way away from victory.
“We were briefed that over 75,000 Russians have either been killed or wounded, which is huge,” Representative Elissa Slotkin, of Michigan, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, told CNN.
“You've got incredible amounts of investment in their land forces, [but] over 80% of their land forces are bogged down, and they're tired,” she said.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov resorted to calling the claim, which also appeared in The New York Times, “fake news”.
He said: “This is not a statement from the American administration. This is a newspaper article.
“Nowadays, even the most reputable newspapers do not shy away from spreading all sorts of fakes.”
The Russians have been tight-lipped over how many troops they have lost since they invaded Ukraine.
They admitted in March that they’d lost 1,351 soldiers during the first month of the war, but since then they haven’t given out any information as they bid to maintain the upper hand in the propaganda war.
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Western analysts widely believe, though, that Putin has suffered significant losses, including an unprecedented number of generals who have been sent to the frontlines in a bid to raise the spirits of the confidence-shot troops.
The latest claims surrounding their losses come shortly after UK spy chief Richard Moore said the Russians are running out of manpower, and at a time the Ukrainians are mounting counter-offensives.
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