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World

Russian losses in Ukraine 'enormous' — German general

Agence France-Presse
Russian losses in Ukraine 'enormous' � German general
Firefighters work on a fire on a building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022, as Russian armed forces are trying to invade Ukraine from several directions, using rocket systems and helicopters to attack Ukrainian position in the south, the border guard service said. Russia's ground forces on Thursday crossed into Ukraine from several directions, Ukraine's border guard service said, hours after President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a major offensive. Russian tanks and other heavy equipment crossed the frontier in several northern regions, as well as from the Kremlin-annexed peninsula of Crimea in the south, the agency said.
AFP / Aris Messinis

BERLIN, Germany — Russia has suffered huge human and material losses in Ukraine and its army will emerge weakened from the conflict, a senior German military figure said in an interview published on Friday.

The interview came as Kyiv is fighting to maintain western support for its war against Russian forces, which invaded in February 2022.

"You know that according to Western intelligence figures, 300,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or so seriously wounded that they can no longer be mobilised for the war," Christian Freuding, who oversees the German army's support for Kyiv, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Leaked US intelligence earlier this month indicated that 315,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in Ukraine since the war began.

"The Russian losses of men and material are enormous," said Freuding, who is also a key advisor to German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius.

Russia is also believed to have lost thousands of battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, he added.

"The Russian armed forces will emerge from this war weakened, both materially and in terms of personnel," he said.

However, Russia is succeeding in continuing to recruit troops "including the use of prisoners", Freuding said.

"And, of course, we are seeing massive investments in the arms industry."

President Vladimir Putin recently said that Moscow had voluntarily recruited 486,000 men for the army in 2023 and that efforts to build up the military next year would accelerate.

And he promised to bolster Russia's defence capabilities, with the economy turned towards the war effort and the Kremlin shrugging off the impact of sweeping Western sanctions.

The German general acknowledged that Russia was demonstrating a greater "resilience" than Western allies had expected at the start of the war.

"We perhaps did not see, or did not want to see, that they are in a position to continue to be supplied by allies," he said.

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