Vladimir Putin has
now lost at least 100 colonels in the war in Ukraine, as the US says up to
80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded in the fighting.
Tsikul, 36 and a tank commander, was confirmed dead by Russian media which
showed footage of his funeral taking place in the town of Chebarkul, central
His death was revealed
as Colin Kahl, a third-most senior official at the Pentagon, said that
up to 80,000 Russian soldiers have been taken out less than six months
Kahl said the estimate is
‘pretty remarkable’ when taking into account the fact that ‘the Russians have
achieved none of Putin’s objectives at the beginning of the war.’
He added: ‘Russia’s overall
objective was to overrun the entire country, to engage in regime change in
Kyiv, to snuff out Ukraine as an independent sovereign and democratic nation.
None of that has happened.’
His estimate is roughly in
line with one given by a Democrat congresswoman briefed on the war last week,
who said ‘at least’ 75,000 Russian troops were dead or injured.
Among that number are thought
to be thousands of Ukrainians conscripted into the army from occupied
territories, and thousands more mercenaries linked to the military contractor group
Russia is also thought to have
drafted in soldiers from Syria to fight, and in recent weeks has begun a
recruitment drive for new ‘volunteer battalions’.
Salaries of up to £3,400 per
month are reportedly being offered to officers willing to fight, before bonuses,
with privates promised £2,400 – a fortune for those living in the poorer
regions of Russia or Donbas, where recruitment is said to be focused.