Every 100 yards of territory ‘costs Russia lives of 2,000 men,’ says NATO

Brutal “Human Wave” attacks on Ukrainian defences are costing the lives of up to 2,000 Russian troops for every 100 yards of territory gained, according to NATO intelligence.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin exposed the grim human cost of Putin’s “First World War” tactics, saying: “Russia continues to pour large numbers of additional people into the fight. Most people are ill-trained and ill-equipped and, because of that, we see them incurring a lot of casualties.”

A Ukrainian fighter previously told how cynical commanders for the mercenary Wagner Group send untrained, and apparently drugged, conscripts forward in an endless “zombie” wave before committing their main force

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He told how the Russian conscripts appeared to have been drugged, not seeming to notice when they had been shot.

“Our machine gunner was almost getting crazy, because he was shooting at them,” the Ukrainian, who gave his name as Andriy, said.

“And he said, ‘I know I shot him, but he doesn’t fall’. And then after some time, when he maybe bleeds out, so he just falls down.”

Meanwhile Mr Austin has assured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that NATO was “laser-focused’ on delivering advanced military tech that could turn the tide of the war.

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“You’ve seen us move to provide Bradleys, Marders [armoured personnel carriers], Leopard tanks and a number of other things . . . that I think will make a pretty significant difference,” Mr Austin said yesterday (Wednesday, February 15).

There have been hints that, frustrated with the lack of progress on land, Russian commanders might switch to a heavier aerial bombardment.

“Russian land forces are quite thinned out, ragged and very demoralised, so the best indication is that they will try to switch to aerial combat,” a Pentagon source said.

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Mr Austin said there was no solid evidence of a major aerial assault just yet, but that NATO would be providing Ukraine with an array of sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles before the rumoured aerial blitz began in the spring.

“In terms of whether or not Russia is massing its aircraft for some massive aerial attack, we don’t currently see that,” he told a meeting of Western defence ministers.

“We do know that Russia has a substantial number of aircraft in its inventory and a lot of capability left. That’s why, we have emphasised that we need to do everything that we can to get Ukraine as much air defence capability as we possibly can.”

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