The British Defense Ministry is reporting that the high number of Russian casualties in Ukraine is tied to alcohol abuse amongst troops, according to Newsweek. The ministry cited a Russian social media channel and stated that deaths, crimes, and incidents are because of troops consuming alcohol.
These issues were reported in November when the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank wrote that Russian troops are resorting to alcohol and self-mutilation out of panic to leave the frontlines of the war.
Russia has experienced some 200,000 casualties since the start of the war and a “significant minority” are not related to combat. But the ministry claimed that drinking was an acceptable part of the military lifestyle, even during combat operations.
The numbers cannot be coincided with Russia’s numbers, however, because they have not been updated since Putin’s announcement that he was mobilizing 300,000 reservist soldiers. The most recent update was in September 2022 when Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported the death of 5,937 troops.
In a remarkable update, Ukraine alleges that they have killed some 174,550 Russian troops, although these projections are higher than other figures coming from Western countries.
The news comes as Putin is preparing the transportation of nuclear weapons to Belarus in a move he says is not dissimilar to the United States storing their weapons in NATO countries, according to The Daily Wire. The weapons are going to be ready in July 2023 and reportedly to help Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko counter NATO. Putin also wants to counter the United Kingdom’s aid to Ukraine. They recently sent the country armor-piercing rounds with depleted Uranium.
Fighting in Bakhmut continues and both Russia and Ukraine are reportedly experiencing heavy losses. But the deputy defense minister of Ukraine said that time is against Russia in the war.