‘Russian casualties highest since first week of Ukraine war’

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London, Feb 12

Russian soldiers are dying in "greater numbers in Ukraine this month than at any time" since the first week of the invasion, according to Ukrainian data.

The Ukrainian data shows 824 Russian soldiers dying per day in February.

The figures were highlighted by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD). The figures cannot be verified - but the UK says the trends are "likely accurate", BBC reported.

The increase comes amid talk of a spring offensive by Russian forces in the east of the country.

Last week, Ukraine's outgoing defence minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, said they were anticipating a new Russian offensive around 24 February - the anniversary of the full-scale invasion.

But some local politicians, including the governors of Luhansk and Donetsk, claimed the offensive had already begun, the media outlet reported.

Some of the fiercest fighting has been around Bakhmut in the east of the country.

On Sunday, the head of Russia's Wagner mercenary force said the group had seized a settlement near the devastated city.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Telegram: "Today, the settlement of Krasna Hora was taken by assault detachments of the Wagner PMC."

Prigozhin also gave his group credit for the offensive on Bakhmut, downplaying the Russian army's role: "Within a radius of 50 km, plus or minus, there are only Wagner PMC fighters," he wrote.

According to the Ukrainian data, highlighted by the UK, 824 Russian losses a day is more than four times the rate reported in June and July, when around 172 Russian soldiers died each day.

The Ukrainian military claims 137, 780 Russian military deaths since the full-scale invasion began.

The UK's MoD pointed out the recent increase could be due to "a range of factors, including lack of trained personnel, coordination, and resources across the front".

Ukraine "also continues to suffer a high attrition rate", the UK's MoD was quoted as saying by the media outlet.

--IANS

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