RUSSIA has suffered 40,000 casualties in its Ukraine invasion and Vladimir Putin reportedly purged a senior general in response.
To add to his woes, one of the tyrant’s inner circle has defected and fled Russia in protest at the war, becoming the highest ranking Kremlin official to break ranks.
Putin expected a quick victory when he ordered the invasion but fierce resistance from the Ukrainians has seen a mounting death toll, with several generals and senior officers among the dead.
Russia accidentally revealed it has lost 10,000 troops, when the figure was disclosed by a pro-Kremlin newspaper.
But NATO has said that figure could be as high as 15,000 with the total losses including wounded, captured or missing up to 40,000.
The estimate is based on figures or what Russia has revealed, either intentionally or deliberately, a NATO official has disclosed.
If the estimate is correct, then Russian losses in just under a month in Ukraine are now the same as they suffered during their ten year war in Afghanistan, which ended in 1989.
Kremlin insider Anatoly Chubais has now stepped down and left the country, citing his opposition war in Ukraine, Bloomberg reports.
The 66-year-old climate envoy announced his resignation in a letter to colleagues and friends on Tuesday.
Chubais had a hand in economic reforms that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union but remained in Putin’s government and had maintained close ties with Western officials.
In response to the faltering invasion, Putin has now reportedly placed General Vladislav Yershov under house arrest.
Under his command, the 6th Army has lost 2000 soldiers including 180 conscripts doing national service, says Ukrainian media.
He was sacked by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who himself has not been seen for 12 days and is said to be suffering from “heart problems”.
He is seen as one of Putin’s closest and most loyal allies.
But strains have appeared over the conduct of the war with him and other leading army and security chiefs.
His daughter Ksenia, 31, appeared with her baby in pictures recently in Ukrainian blue and yellow colours.
Putin’s soldiers are understood to have been sold a lie – with some told it was a training exercise and others assured they would be welcomed as heroes.
Ukraine is now littered with the burnt out wrecks of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles, charred remains of downed aircraft, and the dead bodies of soldiers – many of who were teenage conscripts.
As the fighting takes its toll on Russian troops, stories are beginning to emerge of anger and plummeting morale.
One soldier allegedly drove his tank into his commanding officer as he protested horrific losses among his comrades.
Colonel Yuri Medvedev was hospitalised with severe leg injuries after the reported incident.
Another complained about his troops getting frostbite in an apparent intercepted phone call.
Frustration is growing, with intercepted radio messages showing the anger of troops who have branded the invasion a “s**tshow” and a “madhouse”.
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