The commander of Russia’s elite airborne troops, Normal Colonel Mikhail Teplinsky, leaked the variety of casualties sustained by his unit since President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started, prompting the Kremlin to scramble to delete his announcement.
In a video now deleted by Russia’s Protection Ministry, Teplinsky, commander of the Russian Airborne Forces (the VDV), revealed on Wednesday that 8,500 Russian paratroopers have been wounded for the reason that warfare in Ukraine started in February 2022.
The determine marks the very best variety of casualties amongst a single sort of army drive talked about by a Russian army official for the reason that warfare started, in accordance with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Teplinsky was appointed commander of the Airborne Forces in June 2022. He revealed the casualty determine throughout a video during which he congratulated paratroopers on the Day of Airborne Forces—marked on August 2—which was printed by “Zvezda,” the Russian protection ministry’s TV channel.
In his congratulatory message, Teplinsky mentioned that within the 17 months for the reason that warfare started, “greater than 5,000 wounded paratroopers returned to the entrance after therapy, and over 3,500 of our wounded refused to go away the entrance line in any respect.”
The Zvezda TV channel shortly eliminated Teplinsky’s congratulatory video message from its web site and from its Telegram channel, in accordance with Agentsvo, an unbiased Russian investigative web site launched in 2021.
Russian information shops together with MK.ru have printed articles which embrace Teplinsky’s quoted figures.
Newsweek has reached out to the Russian protection ministry for remark by way of electronic mail.
Russia itself not often releases figures on troop losses, however when it does, its estimates are far decrease than these of Ukraine. The BBC’s Russian service reported in September 2022, citing publicly accessible knowledge, that Russia had misplaced greater than 900 particular forces troopers, paratroopers, marines and pilots in over six months of Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
That determine included 151 troopers from Russia’s army intelligence, 337 marines, 245 troops from the Nationwide Guard’s particular forces and riot police, 144 members of elite paratrooper models, 20 members of the Federal Safety Service (FSB) and Federal Guards Service (FSO), in addition to a minimum of 67 fight pilots.
Final month, an alleged leak of a secret memo obtained by Russian dissident in exile, Vladimir Osechkin, appeared to indicate that Russia was prepping the VDV to be deployed to scorching spots in Donbas, in japanese Ukraine, as “assault forces” underneath Teplinsky’s management.
The doc, hand-dated and signed on July 18, which could not instantly be verified by Newsweek, was printed by the anti-corruption web site Gulagu.web after troops from the VDV printed an audio message warning towards the dismissal of Teplinsky, who has criticized how the warfare in Ukraine has been dealt with.
There had beforehand been rumors of his arrest in mid-July, “probably on account of his affiliations with the Wagner Group,” which staged a mutiny in Russia on the time, evaluation by the Institute for the Research of Conflict (ISW) on Wednesday suggests.
Teplinsky this week introduced the formation of as much as two new VDV regiments and the reestablishment of the 104th VDV Division by the tip of 2023, an announcement which “signifies that he maintains his place and the general public assist” of the Russian protection ministry, evaluation by the ISW mentioned.
It is unclear whether or not Teplinsky has been punished for revealing VDV casualty figures.
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