Russian Losses in Ukraine ‘Enormous,’ German General Says

BERLIN — 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 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 mobilized for the war,” Christian Freuding, who oversees the German army’s support for Kyiv, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Leaked U.S. 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 adviser to German Defense 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 defense 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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