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Putin hits wounded soldiers for the first time – VG

War at War: President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with soldiers Anatoly Shpkov (left) and Private Vladislav Chindilov.

“He will be proud of his father,” President Vladimir Putin said when visiting a wounded soldier who had a young son.

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As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its fourth month, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a military hospital with wounded Russian soldiers for the first time on Tuesday.

The president, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, received the wounded soldiers and medical personnel at the hospital. the video The visit was reported in all Russian state-controlled media.

Here, President Putin, dressed in a white coat, somewhat hawkish in attitude, is seen strolling through the astonishingly calm surroundings of the Central Military Hospital in Moscow.

In an arranged meeting with a soldier with a nine-month-old son named Artyom, Putin told the soldier: “He will be proud of his father.”

First visit: During more than three months of the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to visit wounded soldiers.

Researcher: “Propaganda”

Researcher Ilmari Käihkö at the Swedish Defense College believes that Putin is now facing such heavy loss of life that he can no longer ignore it.

– Of course, this is part of the propaganda. Realizing that he can no longer hide the losses in Ukraine, Putin has instead visited the military hospital and called the wounded soldiers heroes, researcher Käihkö tells VG.

“Of course” to fight

The video clip shows Putin meeting the soldier with his young son, a man in his late twenties who suffered stomach wounds after participating in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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Do you want to serve? President Putin asks the man.

Of course the soldier answers.

“You must,” Putin asserts.

– Thank you, say the soldiers.

Then Putin wishes everyone good luck.

Strict: Several soldiers were chosen to beat Putin while the cameras were rolling.

There is no updated death toll

It’s been more than two months since Russia last published figures on soldiers killed in the war.

By March 25, the war had lasted for a month, and authorities said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed in Ukraine by that time.

Scholar Käihkö of the Swedish National Defense College believes that Putin is trying to show that the losses in the war are worth it.

The researcher believes that Putin speaks of the wounded soldiers as heroes in appreciation of their victims in Ukraine. Kihko says that the Russian president also mentioned this in his Victory Day speech on May 9.

– While Russia did not mention the number of dead or wounded, Volodymyr Zelensky spoke a few days ago that 50 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are killed daily in Donbass. The researcher says that he has a completely different agenda – for him it is important to raise the severity of the situation so that the West continues to provide support.

“You have everything”: in the video where Putin, among others, meets with surgeons and doctors at the Central Military Hospital in Moscow, the staff assures the president that they have everything they need.

The United Kingdom estimates significant losses

British military intelligence said this week that it believed Russian losses in Ukraine were in line with those in the nine-year war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when about 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed.

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The losses created great resentment and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“The combination of low-level tactics, limited air support, a lack of flexibility and an approach that helps amplify mistakes and repeat mistakes led to significant losses, which continued to rise in the Donbass offensive,” British Military Intelligence said in a statement. Daily Twitter update, NTB reports.

The British point out that the Russian public was previously sensitive to the heavy losses in the conflicts chosen by the state itself, and that they expect public discontent with the war to increase if it becomes known in Russia.

“Heroes”

In a Moscow hospital, Putin asked the military doctors if there was anything they needed, and the doctors answered that they had everything they needed for the medical care of soldiers.

“They are all heroes,” Putin said of the soldiers now waging war in Ukraine. Russian Gazeta.

Each one of them consciously puts himself at risk and must be treated as heroes, according to what was reported by the President.

In response to a question whether this visit is related to the start of a new phase in what the Russians call a “special operation” in Ukraine, Putin’s press chief said in the negative.

No, no new factors, no new stages. The President is constantly interested in the conditions of those who were injured during the special military operation and updates them. Dmitry Peskov said it was just that the schedule allowed him to meet with them now.

Next: Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (in the background) follows Putin to the military hospital.

Grants will increase

The visit was added on the same day the president announced a number of new welfare measures and compensation plans for the military.

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On Tuesday evening, Russian state-controlled television showed a report in which Putin ordered that the salaries of military personnel stationed in Ukraine should be increased, and the subsidy for mothers in the army should be increased.

He also claimed that the Russian economy was not suffering as much as some had expected at the start of the war.

He explained that the pension and minimum wage will rise by 10% in June The New York Times.