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Putin sending 40k Russian troops to ‘meat grinder’ with ‘no escape’

Putin ‘confronted’ by head of Wagner group says official

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Vladimir Putin’s strategy of beefing up his forces with untrained conscripts appears to be failing, as tens of thousands of his soldiers could soon be under a Ukrainian attack, a former US General said. A total of 40,000 Russian troops are stationed on the western side of the Dnipro river in Kherson with no way out of the conflict. These troops could soon be decimated by the major Ukrainian counteroffensive, retirer Lieutenant General Mark Hertling added.

Looking at the state of play in Ukraine, General Hertling told CNN: “Russia is basically stacking their defences with new mobilised recruits.

“But again, those recruits are absolutely untrained, terrible and joining units with low morale.

“So, what we’re seeing really is Russia feeding more meat to a meat grinder.

“And Ukraine will have increased challenges with countering those kinds of larger units, because after at all, quantity has a quality all of its own.”

The retired general said: “But I think because of the capability of Ukraine’s army, they will eventually wind Russians down.

“One of the areas in that southern area of Kherson. Estimates by Ukrainian intelligence are that there are close to 40,000 Russian troops on the western bank of the Dnipro river that have no means to escape.

“When you don’t have the ability to resupply soldiers to escape or withdraw, it is going to be very difficult.

“And there is the huge potential for Ukraine to capture a great many of those soldiers and take them completely out of action.”

Ahead of a Ukrainian attack, Russian officials have completed an operation to move 70,000 civilians out of the occupied southern city of Kherson. The civilians have crossed to the eastern bank of the Dnipro river. 

Ukraine’s President Zelensky has accused Russian forces of engaging in the theft of medical equipment and making the Kherson area an “exclusion zone”. 

In a video message on Friday, President Zelensky said: “Russia is making Kherson a zone without civilisation, without elementary things available in most countries of the world.

“Before Russia came, this region, like all other regions of Ukraine, was quite normal and safe, all social services were guaranteed to people there … Life was guaranteed there. And now Russia is trying to make the Kherson region literally an exclusion zone. The world must respond to this.”

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Since the start of their counteroffensive, Ukrainian troops have made significant advances, retaking the Kharkiv province and parts of Kherson. 

Ukrainian troops are only 18 miles away from the city of Kherson, according to Ukrainian officials who are now preparing for what Russians dumbed “the battle for Kherson”.

Retaking the region is of strategic importance for Ukraine, as it would offer Ukrainian forces a gateway to the Kremlin-annexed Crimean Peninsula and the commercially important Sea of Azov. 

If Ukrainian successfully recaptured the whole Kherson region – one of the four provinces Putin annexed to Russia – it would leave the Russian leader with nothing to show from his war campaign.

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