Thousands Of Russian Casualties In Ukraine 'Linked To Alcohol Consumption', Says UK Intelligence
A destroyed tank is seen in Siversk, Ukraine, close to the front line of the war.
Thousands of Russian casualties in the Ukraine war are linked to alcohol consumption by troops, according to UK officials.
They said army commanders had been forced to accept the problem as “part of military life” because of the culture of heavy drinking in Russian society.
Moscow has suffered up to 200,000 casualties since the invasion of its neighbour in February last year.
According to the latest intelligence update from the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), “a significant minority of these have been due to non-combat causes”.
The MoD said a report by the Russian Telegram news channel last month said there had been an “extremely high numbers of incidents, crimes, and deaths linked to alcohol consumption” among their forces.
“Other leading causes of non-combat casualties likely include poor weapon handing drills, road traffic accidents and climatic injuries such as hypothermia,” the MoD said.
“Russian commanders likely identify pervasive alcohol abuse as particularly detrimental to combat effectiveness.
“However, with heavy drinking pervasive across much of Russian society, it has long been seen as a tacitly accepted part of military life, even on combat operations.”
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 02 April 2023.
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The MoD also revealed last week that Vladimir Putin is preparing to recruit 400,000 more troops for the war in Ukraine.
It said some could be “coerced” into joining up in an attempt to hit the recruitment target.