Half of Putin’s elite airborne troops ‘wiped out’ in just six months

Putin’s elite paratrooper squad, known as the VDV, had already been decimated before his mobilisation of 2,000,000 troops in September 2022.

The revelation comes from Mikhail Zvinchuk, a former military press official and creator of the Rybar channel on Telegram, who revealed the news on Russian state TV.

‘Many are saying that you can’t see the airborne troops on the frontline,’ he said.

‘Unfortunately, this is the objective reality – by the start of mobilisation, our airborne forces lost 40-50 percent of staff.

He added: ‘As of now, out of the old and tested formations with designated equipment, not that many are remaining.’

It was known the VDV had sustained heavy losses and were noticeably absent from the frontlines, but the true scale of their decimation was not publicly known.

Russia’s airborne forces led the country’s military in the initial advance into Ukraine in February 2022.

High numbers of casualties were reported within weeks of the conflict starting, with many killed during the failed attempt to take Kyiv.

Officially, Russia had around 45,000 airborne troops in 2016. By 2021, some 27,000 were contract service personnel.

Among those who died early in the war were Lt-Col Sergei Moskvichev, 45, who was buried with full military honours after his body took three months to retrieve.

Another was Col. Andrei Vasilyev, 49, commander of the 137th Guards Airborne Regiment, based in Ryazan.

Source of data and images: metro

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