Russia is losing 1,000 soldiers a day in its relentless ‘meat grinder’ tactics against Ukraine: report

    – Smoke rises from a Russian tank destroyed by Ukrainian forces, on the side of a road in Lugansk region.

    ANATOLII STEPANOV via Getty Images

    Russia is sustaining high casualties in attacks in Ukraine, The New York Times reported. Around 1,000 Russian troops a day were killed or wounded, officials told the publication. But Russia is able to recruit new troops to replace the casualties, according to the Times.  

    An average of 1,000 Russian troops a day were killed or wounded in Ukraine in May amid waves of head-on attacks on Ukrainian defenses, US, UK, and other Western intelligence agencies said, according to The New York Times.

    UK military intelligence has put the casualty rate at 1,200 a day in May, which it said was the highest reported since the start of the war. It said Russia’s total number of killed or wounded since it launched the invasion in February 2022 now stood at around 500,000.

    It’s unclear how many of these troops were killed and how many were wounded. Business Insider has contacted The Ministry of Defence for comment.

    US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in June put the figure of the total number killed or wounded at around 350,000.

    The reported casualty increase in May came as Russia intensified its attacks on Ukrainian positions in the Kharkiv region, which borders Russia in northern Ukraine.

    Russia is sending troops into head-on high-casualty attacks, known as human wave or “meat grinder” attacks. The attacks were used by Russia in brutal battles to seize control of the towns of Avdiikva and Bakhmut last year, but US officials told the Times they are proving less successful now.

    However, US officials told the Times that Russia has been able to replenish its troop numbers, recruiting around 25,000 to 30,000 soldiers a month, while Ukraine is struggling to find new recruits.

    Ukraine said in February that it believes 31,000 of its troops have been killed since the start of the war, but Western intelligence officials told The Washington Post the number is likely much higher.

    Russia has offered relatively lucrative contracts to new recruits, has drafted thousands of prisoners into the military, and has contracted foreign mercenaries to replace its losses.

    In September 2022, Russia drafted 300,000 civilians into the military, but it’s unlikely that the Kremlin will need to launch another draft in the near future, US officials told the Times.

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