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Russia-Ukraine conflict: UK says Moscow relying heavily on mercenaries

The UK Defence Ministry says some Russian units have withdrawn from Ukraine to Russia and Belarus after suffering heavy losses

Russian tank

A charred Russian tank and captured tanks are seen, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in the Sumy region (Photo: Reuters)

AP London
Britain says Russia's increasing reliance on mercenaries to fight in Ukraine is a sign of the war's heavy toll on Moscow's forces.
Western officials say up to 1,000 combatants from the private Wagner Group have been sent to eastern Ukraine. Moscow is also trying to recruit Syrians to fight in the country.
British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said it is a worrying sign but it also probably shows you how dependent they have become on other fighters because of the weakness and fragility of the professional forces.
He told Sky News that the Russian war machine, which had a pretty fearsome reputation, has been found to stutter and stumble, in at least the early stages of this campaign.
The UK Defence Ministry says some Russian units have withdrawn from Ukraine to Russia and Belarus after suffering heavy losses.

Kyiv: The governor of Ukraine's northern Chernihiv region says Russian attacks continued overnight despite Moscow saying it would reduce military activity in the area.
Viacheslav Chaus said in a video message on social media that houses and infrastructure including libraries and shopping centres had been damaged in the cities of Chernihiv and Nizhyn.
Chaus didn't say if anyone had been killed or injured.
Of Russia's statement that it would cut back its military activity, he said: Do we believe that? Of course not.
During talks in Istanbul on Tuesday, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said Moscow would cut back military activity in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv to increase mutual trust and create conditions for further negotiations.

Berlin: Germany's economy minister says he is triggering the early warning level for gas supplies amid Russia's continued demand to be paid in rubles.
Robert Habeck told reporters Wednesday that this was the first of three warning levels and entails the establishment of a crisis team in his ministry that will heighten monitoring of the gas supply situation.
Habeck said he took the measure after Moscow indicated it would require payment in rubles despite the Group of Seven countries rejecting such demands on Monday.
He says Germany's gas storages are currently filled to about 25% capacity.

London: Britain's Ministry of Defence says Russia's stated focus on the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine is likely a tacit admission that it is struggling to sustain more than one significant axis of advance.
In a daily war assessment, the ministry said Wednesday that Russian units suffering heavy losses have been forced to return to Belarus and Russia to reorganise and supply.
It says such activity is placing further pressure on Russia's already strained logistics and demonstrates the difficulties Russia is having reorganising its units in forward areas within Ukraine.
It noted, however, that the shift is unlikely to mean relief for civilians in cities that have been subjected to relentless Russian bombardments. It expects Moscow will continue to compensate for reduced ground maneuvers through mass artillery and missile strikes.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 30 2022 | 3:50 PM IST

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