Report by whistleblower alleges up to 10,000 Russian casualties in Ukraine (updated)

Ukraine KharkivA REPORT BY AN anonymous Russian intelligence analyst alleges that the Russian forces in Ukraine could have suffered as many as 10,000 casualties, and claims that the Kremlin has lost contact with a number of divisions. The claims are included in a 2,000-word document published online by Vladimir Osechkin, a Russian anti-corruption activist and vocal critic of the Kremlin, who has been living in France since 2015. In the past, Osechkin has collaborated with the investigative website Bellingcat.

According to British newspaper The Times, which first reported on the claims made by Osechkin, the document originates from an anonymous intelligence analyst in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB has inherited the domestic functions of the Soviet-era KGB and today operates as Russia’s internal security and counterintelligence agency. The anonymous analyst claims that the Kremlin kept the FSB in the dark about its intentions to order a military invasion of Ukraine.

The report adds that Russian President Vladimir Putin had based its estimations about whether the country could withstand Western economic sanctions on a number of optimistic forecasts produced by the FSB in the run-up to the war in Ukraine. However, these forecasts were nothing more than “hypothetical box-ticking exercises” in which intelligence analysts were expected to make Russia “the victor” in order to avoid the wrath of their superiors. No-one in the FSB thought these forecasts were going to be used by the Kremlin to make actual decisions about a war in Ukraine, it is claimed.

The Kremlin now realizes the extent of its miscalculation, says the anonymous analyst. However, it is too late to avert this “total failure”, which is comparable militarily only to the “collapse of Nazi Germany” in 1944 and 1945. The Russian forces in Ukraine could have already suffered as many as 10,000 casualties, even though the Russian government has only acknowledged close to 500 deaths of servicemen, the document claims. The true number is unknown even to President Putin himself, given that the Ministry of Defense has “lost contact with major divisions” in Ukraine. The report concludes with the assessment that “Pandora’s Box has been opened” and that Moscow “has no way out” of this debacle. “There are no options for a possible victory, only defeat”, it warns.

The Times said it showed the report to Christo Grozev, a Bulgarian investigative journalist, who supervises Bellingcat’s reporting on Russian affairs. Grozev told the paper that Ukrainian intelligence has previously produced fake FSB documents in order to frame the public narrative about the war. He argued, however, that “this letter appeared different” and that former FSB agents who had seen it appeared convinced of its authenticity. He added that Osechkin’s disclosures from Russian sources tend to be reliable.

Update: Meanwhile in Washington, Lieutenant General Scott D. Berrier, Director of the United States Defense Intelligence Agency, told a Congressional hearing on Tuesday that between 2,000 and 4,000 Russian troops have so far been killed in Ukraine. He added there was “low confidence” for this estimate, and that it was derived from clandestine and and open-source intelligence collection.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 08 March 2022 | Permalink

2 Responses to Report by whistleblower alleges up to 10,000 Russian casualties in Ukraine (updated)

  1. Much as I want to believe it I find it hard to comprehend how in 2022 Russia’s Ministry of Defense has “lost contact with major divisions” in Ukraine bearing in mind satellite and other communication options available to the Russian army. I could understand it if they had reported that the Ministry of Defence has lost contact with Putin!

  2. Paul Joyal says:

    It is the failure of the new ERA encrypted radio system

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