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US and UK say 15,000 killed ‘cannon fodder’ in Russia’s Ukraine

#killed #cannon #fodder #Russias #Ukraine

About 15,000 Russians died in the five-month-old invasion of Ukraine, US and British spy chiefs said, as they assessed President Vladimir Putin’s casualties far greater than expected.

Richard Moore, the head of Britain’s MI6, said Thursday that the 15,000 dead was “probably a conservative estimate” and presented a “very bloody nose” for Putin, who expected a quick victory.

“That’s probably a conservative estimate. That’s about the same number they lost in 10 years in Afghanistan in the 1980s,” he told the Aspen Security Forum in the US Rocky Mountains.

“And these aren’t middle-class kids from St. Petersburg or Moscow,” he said.

“These are poor children from rural parts of Russia. They come from working-class towns in Siberia. They belong disproportionately to ethnic minorities. This is his cannon fodder.”

CIA Director Bill Burns said a day earlier at the same conference that US intelligence put Russian casualties “in the vicinity of 15,000 dead and perhaps three times the wounded.”

“So quite a significant amount of losses. The Ukrainians suffered too, probably a little less but significant losses,” Burns said.

Ukraine has offered a much higher figure for the casualties inflicted on Russia, saying earlier this month about 36,200 Russian personnel had died.

Russia has been very cautious, only levying an official toll twice, most recently on March 25 with a figure of 1,351, which experts say is far too low.

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