Moscow’s forces ‘effectively crippled’ by huge losses, Ben Wallace says

Russia-Ukraine war: Kyiv steps up offensive as first grain shipment could leave Black Sea todayUkrainian troops fire on Russian positions near Kharkiv on ThursdayCREDIT: EPA

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29 JULY 2022 • 6:57PM

Russian forces are “effectively crippled” as Vladimir Putin insists on a “meat grinder” war strategy, Ben Wallace has said. 

The Defence Secretary made the comments after US analysts estimated that more than 75,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine – the equivalent to almost the entire British Army.

Mr Wallace told BBC’s Today programme: “Putin hasn’t changed from his desire to occupy the whole of Ukraine, take Kyiv and Odesa… but his army has been effectively crippled by huge amounts of losses. Over 25,000 dead. Maybe twice as many injured.

“When I talk about meat grinder, which is what they’re doing, is that they are resorting to a sort of Soviet tactic… moving very slowly – metres, not miles, a day, in some parts.

“And on the top of the meat grinder… they are recruiting from the poorest districts in Russia, and the ethnic minorities, and they are using mercenaries, shoving these people in with very little regard to the outcome, grinding forward.”

He said that longer-range Western weapons are “now having a material effect”, and that the Russians “are operating their army at roughly about 40 to 50 per cent combat effective”.

SBU releases an intercepted call between two Russians allegedly discussing the arrivals at Yelenovka earlier today. The translation of the call is here, but we cannot guarantee authenticity of the call, can only say that the voices sound quite believable.

(R1) =Russian man (R2)=Russian man 2
(R1): Hello. We have very bad news. Have you heard already?
(R2): Umm… now the news emerged that something arrived at you at
Yelenovka.
(R1): This is all bullsh’t. They themselves hit the barracks. It had 200
people. Basically, two days ago they were resettled from the
barracks, from the three barracks. The total number was up to 200
people. 190 and something. They were resettled for some reason to
the industrial area, they made some sort of barracks there, boasting
that everything will be taken out of here, and only “Azov” will remain
there. Like, until the next wave of prisoners comes….. So.. Yesterday
at night around 11pm the “Grad” started working.…. right under the
fence… Well, around 100 meters from the fence, it was visible, 10
missiles at a time. The first 10 – resulted in an explosion. The next 10
also explosion. Third – explosion, so three explosions in total. The
windows were not blown out anywhere, there was no characteristic
arrival of a shell, no whistle. So there were only explosions. Right. A
lot -“200, “300” [dead and wounded]. We don’t know the exact number. Anyway, it’s all been set up, on purpose, you understand? Most likely there are survivors. Well, as I said, there are some medics from the hospital who were with us… they went there too….. Anyway, they said – “Guys, you are being killed”. You see? And also, there were three shots from the assault rifle. After all of this, the fire started… So yeah… (R2): Fck.
(R1): The fact that they set it all up themselves, the probability is very
high, there were no arrivals. Like, first of all, if looking…. unintelligible
…it was after some time, not exactly when the “Grad” fired…. to fire
somewhere where people were resettled two days ago, right?
(R2): So they shelled the barracks with “Grad”s specifically?
(R1): No, the most likely have put this inside, there were no arrivals.
I’m telling you.
(R2): The connection is poor, I cannot hear everything.
(R1): I see. They most likely set up an explosive device in advance…..

Vladimir Putin’s private army of mercenaries have been linked with the bombing of a prison that killed 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war in an eastern separatist region.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, the attack on Olenivka prison was ordered by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Russian-controlled private military Wagner Group and wasn’t coordinated with Russia’s military command, the Kyiv Independent reported.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has meanwhile released a recording of an intercepted phone call between Russians which it said confirms the “shelling of Olenivka prison was carried out by occupiers”.

A statement posted on its website said: “Judging by the militants’ conversations, Russians could have staged a tragedy having placed the explosives in the premises of the prison.

“In particular, none of the eyewitnesses heard any missile flying towards the correctional facility.

“Moreover, judging by the videos available on the Internet, the windows have remained whole in some rooms of the facility. This indicates that the epicenter of the explosion was inside the destroyed building and its walls took the hit from the blast waves, protecting some of the neighbouring rooms.”

Acting Head of the SSU Vasyl Malyuk said: “No matter what nonsense the enemies invent to justify themselves, it is obvious to everyone that Russia is guilty of the deliberate killing of Ukrainian prisoners. This is confirmed by the first available evidence. I am confident that later there will be more evidence. SSU investigators have already started investigating this crime as part of the relevant criminal proceedings.”

Translation of intercepted phone call that ‘confirms’ Russia behind prison blast

Wagner accused of prison atrocity as intercepted phone call ‘confirms’ Russia’s guilt

Placeholder image for youtube video: qp4OFJt6c_c

Vladimir Putin’s private army of mercenaries have been linked with the bombing of a prison that killed 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war in an eastern separatist region.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, the attack on Olenivka prison was ordered by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Russian-controlled private military Wagner Group and wasn’t coordinated with Russia’s military command, the Kyiv Independent reported.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has meanwhile released a recording of an intercepted phone call between Russians which it said confirms the “shelling of Olenivka prison was carried out by occupiers”.

A statement posted on its website said: “Judging by the militants’ conversations, Russians could have staged a tragedy having placed the explosives in the premises of the prison.

“In particular, none of the eyewitnesses heard any missile flying towards the correctional facility.

“Moreover, judging by the videos available on the Internet, the windows have remained whole in some rooms of the facility. This indicates that the epicenter of the explosion was inside the destroyed building and its walls took the hit from the blast waves, protecting some of the neighbouring rooms.”

Acting Head of the SSU Vasyl Malyuk said: “No matter what nonsense the enemies invent to justify themselves, it is obvious to everyone that Russia is guilty of the deliberate killing of Ukrainian prisoners. This is confirmed by the first available evidence. I am confident that later there will be more evidence. SSU investigators have already started investigating this crime as part of the relevant criminal proceedings.”

Reuters reports that greater reliance on fighters from the Wagner Group for frontline duties rather than their usual work in special operations would be another sign that Russia’s military is under stress.

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