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Is Putin Crazy? Russia Lost 110,000 Troops But Isn’t at War in Ukraine

M142 HIMARS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russian National Security Secretary Says Country Isn’t at War in Ukraine – Despite Massive Losses on the Battlefield: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has suggested his nation isn’t, in fact, at war with Ukraine and instead called it a ploy by the West to engage in a proxy conflict with Moscow.

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 His comments to the state-run AiF newspaper over the weekend came even as Russia continued to see the loss of nearly a dozen tanks and hundreds of troops.

“The events in Ukraine are not a confrontation between Moscow and Kiev, it is a military confrontation of NATO, and above all the United States and the United Kingdom, against Russia,” Patrushev said in the interview, and further claimed the West was leading Ukrainians “to certain death.”

“We are not at war with Ukraine because, by definition, we cannot have hatred towards ordinary Ukrainians,” insisted the senior Russian official, who also noted the centuries-long ties between the cultures and traditions of the two peoples.

He has also defended the Kremlin’s “special military operation,” which began last February, claiming it was meant to “liberate” some regions and to put an end to what he described as a “bloody experiment” by the West to “destroy the brotherly Ukrainian people.”

Patrushev, along with Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, has been among the most vocal supporter of Putin’s not-war in Ukraine. Patrushev is also reported to be one of the men who had convinced Putin that Russia should invade Ukraine last year.

Russian Losses Mount in Ukraine

Patrushev may not assess the fighting as an actual war – but it likely looks like one to the Russian troops on the ground. In a 24-hour period over the past weekend, Kremlin forces again lost a significant amount of military equipment, including 11 main battle tanks (MBTs), 17 armored vehicles, and three helicopters.

Some 590 Russian personnel were also killed over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 111,760 since the war began when Russia launched its unprovoked invasion on February 24, 2022.

Russia hasn’t confirmed the losses, but both sides have likely seen significant casualties, reported Oryx, which has been tracking the losses of military hardware since the start of the conflict. According to the open-source website’s findings, Moscow has taken a harder hit.

One issue could be that Russian forces increasingly rely on antiquated military equipment, while Ukraine has been equipped with more modern Western hardware, notably the American-made HIMARS rocket launchers and the towed M777 155mm howitzers.

In addition, Starlink – the satellite system manufactured by Elon Musk’s Space X – which has proven critical to supplying Kyiv with battlefield intelligence, is seen as vastly superior to the Russian Glonass, reported to have only the same level of security and accuracy as civilian GPS.

Russia has had to rely on de facto allies North Korea and Iran to supply it with ordnance and drones respectively, as the Kremlin’s stockpiles have been depleted.

Fighting also continued over the weekend despite calls by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week for a ceasefire during the Orthodox Christmas, which was observed on Saturday.

Kyiv rebuffed Putin’s calls for a truce, and Ukrainian officials suggested it was a ruse by Moscow to allow it to reorganize its forces to counter an expected Ukrainian military offensive.

Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

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