Hundreds Of Russian Troops Surrender In Blow To Putin

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that somewhere around 500 to 600 Russian troops surrendered to Ukraine on Friday alone amid the continuing Russian invasion of the country. Zelenskyy also said, however, that Putin’s regime “was sending in new troops after Ukrainian forces had put 31 of its battalion tactical groups out of action in what he called Russia’s largest army losses in decades,” as summarized by Reuters — so the Russian military is, for now, pushing through these apparently heavy losses that have been inflicted by those defending Ukraine. It’s not as though credible sources outside his country believe the propaganda, but Putin has insisted on characterizing the war as a confrontation with armed factions in Ukraine, yet civilians have consistently suffered Russian attacks, and thousands have already died.

Zelenskyy has also provided the first estimate from his side of Ukrainian military casualties, pinning that number at some 1,300. Ukrainian forces claim to have killed more than 12,000 Russian troops, and although exact numbers are difficult to conclusively confirm under the rapidly changing conditions of the war, Western officials have provided tentative support to the notion that thousands of Russian troops have died. U.S. Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently publicly estimated the number of Russian military deaths as between 2,000 and 4,000, although figures have varied. As for civilian deaths in Ukraine, local officials in the city of Mariupol recently stated that over 1,500 people in their jurisdiction alone already lost their lives during the war, and with Russian attacks on Mariupol and its surroundings continuing, that number seemed set to rise. The ordinary population of Mariupol had been in the hundreds of thousands before the war, but smaller jurisdictions have also seen devastating impacts. Zelenskyy said that certain more compact Ukrainian towns essentially weren’t there anymore.

It keeps going — in Mariupol, a staff member for the medical outreach organization Doctors Without Borders said people “were boiling ground water for drinking, using wood to cook food and burying dead bodies near where they lay,” Reuters summarized. The staffer added that those on the scene “saw people who died because of lack of medication.” In the same city, a young child was recently reported by Ukrainian authorities to have died of dehydration after Russian attacks impacted Mariupol’s utilities, including running water. In other words: the intense losses for the Russian military have not translated into lessening crises for those suffering through the violent assaults launched by Putin’s regime. Zelenskyy recently insisted, however, that he believed in an eventual Ukrainian victory over the aggressors. As he put it, “We have already reached a strategic turning point. We are already moving towards our goal, our victory… We need time, patience, our wisdom, energy, we need to do our job to the best of our abilities.”

Featured Image (edited): via Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine and available under a Creative Commons License