Ukraine: Russia planning ‘particularly cruel’ action says Zelensky
And Russians have been warned fresh recruits heading to the war zone that they are liable to be brought home “in a body bag”. Two days before the war reaches the six-month milestone, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence took to Twitter to announce that “45,200 Russian troops have been eliminated”.
The figure is 300 up on the previous one, the MoD pointed out.
It added: “In February, Russia prepared a parade in advance & purchased 45,000 body bags for the 1st wave of ethnic cleansing in occupied Ukraine.
“In August, Russians realised that they would need those bags for themselves.
“Don’t buy a body bag for your neighbour, because you will go home in it.”
Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Ukrainians not to be intimidated
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence says 45,200 Russian troops have been eliminated
In a separate tweet, the MoD shared images of destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv, commenting: “It may look like a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie.
“But the careers of 45,000 Russian zombies are finished. The centre of Kyiv is only hosting their burned equipment.
“The set has already been built. Hollywood, this could be turned into a cool movie!”
The MoD’s statements came the day after a televised address by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky during which he praised his countrymen for their dogged resistance in the face of Vladimir Putin’s aggression.
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Another Ukraine Ministry of Defence tweet shared a picture of destroyed tanks on display in Kyiv
He said: “We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel.
“Such is our enemy. But in any other week during these six months, Russia did the same thing all the time – disgusting and cruel.
“One of the key tasks of the enemy is to humiliate us, Ukrainians, to devalue our capabilities, our heroes, to spread despair, fear, to spread conflicts.
“Therefore, it is important never, for a single moment, to give in to this enemy pressure, not to wind oneself up, not to show weakness.”
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Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Russia is planning something “particularly nasty”
Mr Zelensky added: “We must all be strong enough to resist any enemy provocations – as much as it takes to make the occupiers answer for all their blows and terror – for Kharkiv and Donbas, for Azovstal and Mykolaiv, for the filtration camps, for Bucha, Irpin for all cities.
“We must all be strong enough to endure and go all the way to Ukrainian victory.”
A confidential briefing to members of the US Congress last month put the total number of Russia troops killed and injured at 75,000.
In a series of tweets also posted on Saturday, retired US General Mark Hertling said Russia was now “on the defence” and hampered by the performance of “poorly led, ill-trained” soldiers “with low morale”.
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Mr Hertling, who was Commanding General of United States Army Europe and the Seventh Army from March 2011 to November 2012, did not provide specific casualty data.
However, he said: “Russia’s ground forces have proven to be poorly led, ill-trained & with low morale, increasingly & significantly attritted in personnel & equipment (some sources now indicating that when they went into this fight in Feb most units were understrength), unable to regenerate.”
“Russia came into this fight thinking they could execute a ‘Desert Storm-like offensive’ that would be completed in a few days. This was delusional.
“They lacked the leadership, training, equipment, to do it. Given RU culture and systems, they aren’t capable of fixing this.”
Mark Hertling is a retired US General
He added: “Russia is now stalled in the south and can only resupply from Rostov-on-Don (in Russia) or from Russian bases in Crimea (which is now being threatened).
“Early RU goals were beyond their capability. Reducing the goals didn’t help.
“Now, RU’s defending in more places against a growing conventional Ukraine threat and an expanded guerrilla war.
“Ukraine has transitioned to the offence and can pick where they attack; Russia is now on the defence.”