Former Kremlin official Mikhail Zvinchuk said Russia’s elite Airborne Forces had lost 50 percent of their personnel in the war in Ukraine. Photo/REUTERS
MOSCOW – A former Kremlin official says President Vladimir Putin has lost 50% of the elite Airborne Forces (VDV) personnel Russia in the war at Ukraine . That happened even before the president’s partial mobilization order was announced in September 2022.
Mikhail Zvinchuk, creator of the Telegram channel “Rybar” and a former military press agent for the Kremlin, commented on the death data on a Russian television show.
Excerpts from the television program were posted on Twitter by Dmitri, a member of War Translated, an independent project that translates material about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“The creators of the Rybar channel which now has live TV programming admit that Russia’s VDV forces lost 50% of personnel in September last year,” tweeted Dmitri, who shared a 27-second clip of the program broadcast.
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Zvinchuk addressed what he said were concerns that Russia’s military’s elite Airborne Forces, known by the acronym VDV, were invisible on the front lines.
Russia’s VDV led the country’s military units in the initial advance into Ukraine from Belarusian territory after Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
High casualty figures for VDV have been reported in the weeks after the conflict started in Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, this is an objective reality: at the start of the mobilization, our Airborne Forces lost 40-50 percent of staff,” said Zvinchuk, according to a description provided by War Translated.
“Until now, from the old and tested formations with the designated equipment, there is not much left,” he explained, which was launched Tuesday (31/1/2023).
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