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Russia asks troops who retired in 2012 to return to the frontlines amid mounting losses

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The Russian army’s losses are so high the Kremlin has resorted to recruiting soldiers that have been retired for a decade.

At least 15,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine, with a total 40,000 wounded, dead or captured since Putin’s invasion began on February 24. 

Intelligence from Britain’s Ministry of Defence said Ukraine has killed so many of Putin’s soldiers that Moscow is scrambling for extra troops. 

The Kremlin has even started to recruit from Russian-occupied Transnistria, in Moldova.

Service members of pro-Russian troops drive an armoured vehicle during Ukraine-Russia conflict on a road outside the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 10

Service members of pro-Russian troops drive an armoured vehicle during Ukraine-Russia conflict on a road outside the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 10

Ukrainian forces fire GRAD rockets toward Russian positions in Donbas, Ukraine on April 10

Ukrainian forces fire GRAD rockets toward Russian positions in Donbas, Ukraine on April 10

Intelligence from Britain's Ministry of Defence said Ukraine has killed so many of Putin's soldiers that Moscow is scrambling for extra troops

Intelligence from Britain’s Ministry of Defence said Ukraine has killed so many of Putin’s soldiers that Moscow is scrambling for extra troops

Britain’s Ministry of Defence said: ‘In response to mounting losses, the Russian armed forces seek to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012.

‘Efforts to generate more fighting power also include trying to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria region of Moldova.’

Ukraine has put Russia’s death toll higher at 20,000 and the Kremlin’s top spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, admitted last week there were ‘significant losses’ that were ‘a tragedy for us’. 

On Sunday, President Zelensky, accused Russia of cowardice and warned Ukrainians in the east of the country to expect Russia to wage'even larger operations'

On Sunday, President Zelensky, accused Russia of cowardice and warned Ukrainians in the east of the country to expect Russia to wage ‘even larger operations’

Russian troops have been pulling out of Kyiv in recent days as Moscow turns its gaze to the east of Ukraine, which traditionally has more pro-separatists living there.  

It could be an attempt by Putin to have a battlefield win before May 9 so he can celebrate it on Russia’s annual Victory Day parade in Moscow.

On Sunday, President Zelensky, accused Russia of cowardice and warned Ukrainians in the east of the country to expect Russia to wage ‘even larger operations’.

He said: ‘They can use even more missiles against us, even more air bombs.  

‘But we are preparing for their actions. We will respond. 

The Russian army's losses are so high the Kremlin has resorted to recruiting soldiers that have been retired for a decade

The Russian army’s losses are so high the Kremlin has resorted to recruiting soldiers that have been retired for a decade

‘They say about the murders in Bucha that it is not them, but allegedly us. 

‘Do you know why this is so? Because it’s cowardice.’

He added: ‘They are afraid to admit that Russia’s entire policy toward Ukraine has been erroneous for decades.’ 

‘They deprived themselves of any political tools and, unwilling to give up unrealistic ambitions, started this war.’

‘It all came from cowardice. When cowardice grows, it turns into a catastrophe. 

‘When people lack the courage to admit their mistakes, apologise, adapt to reality, learn, they turn into monsters. 

‘And when the world ignores it, the monsters decide that it is the world that has to adapt to them. 

‘Ukraine will stop all this.’

Meanwhile, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhaylo Podolyak told national television that ‘Ukraine is ready for big battles’ against Putin’s forces.

Satellite imagery has emerged of a huge convoy of Russian armour and artillery heading towards the under-siege areas of eastern Ukraine as both sides gear up for a brutal new phase of the war

Satellite imagery has emerged of a huge convoy of Russian armour and artillery heading towards the under-siege areas of eastern Ukraine as both sides gear up for a brutal new phase of the war

This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows a large military convoy consisting of hundreds of vehicles (including armored vehicles, trucks with towed artillery and support equipment) moving south through the Ukrainian town of Velykyi Burluk, Ukraine, April

This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows a large military convoy consisting of hundreds of vehicles (including armored vehicles, trucks with towed artillery and support equipment) moving south through the Ukrainian town of Velykyi Burluk, Ukraine, April 8

He said: ‘Ukraine must win them, including in the Donbas. 

‘Once that happens, Ukraine will have a more powerful negotiating position.

‘After that the presidents will meet. It could take two weeks, three.’ 

Chilling satellite images have shown hundreds of Russian armoured vehicles heading for a major confrontation with Ukrainian troops which could decide the outcome of the war.

The bodies of 132 civilians were found shot dead at a new potential Russian war crimes site in Ukraine, officials said today. Pictured: Workers remove debris from a destroyed building in the region west of Kyiv, April 8, 2022

The bodies of 132 civilians were found shot dead at a new potential Russian war crimes site in Ukraine, officials said today. Pictured: Workers remove debris from a destroyed building in the region west of Kyiv, April 8, 2022

Bodies of civilians, who according to the head of the village were killed by Russian soldiers amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, lie on the ground after police exhumed them from a well at the fuel station in Buzova

Bodies of civilians, who according to the head of the village were killed by Russian soldiers amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, lie on the ground after police exhumed them from a well at the fuel station in Buzova

A Ukrainian serviceman stands amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 6, 2022

A Ukrainian serviceman stands amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Policemen work to identify civilians who were killed during the Russian occupation in Bucha, Ukraine, on the outskirts of Kyiv, before sending the bodies to the morgue, Wednesday, April 6

Policemen work to identify civilians who were killed during the Russian occupation in Bucha, Ukraine, on the outskirts of Kyiv, before sending the bodies to the morgue, Wednesday, April 6

Ukrainian investigators exhume bodies from a mass grave in the grounds of the St Andrew church in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on April 8, 2022

Ukrainian investigators exhume bodies from a mass grave in the grounds of the St Andrew church in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on April 8, 2022

A damaged car sits amongst a residential building destroyed as a result of shellfire on April 7 in Makariv. According to reports, 40 percent of the town has been destroyed

A damaged car sits amongst a residential building destroyed as a result of shellfire on April 7 in Makariv. According to reports, 40 percent of the town has been destroyed

A residential building destroyed as a result of shell fire on April 7, 2022 in Makariv, Ukraine

A residential building destroyed as a result of shell fire on April 7, 2022 in Makariv, Ukraine

A Russian air strike hit Kramatorsk's train station on Friday, with graphic pictures showing bodies strewn across floor outside, lying amongst abandoned luggage

A Russian air strike hit Kramatorsk’s train station on Friday, with graphic pictures showing bodies strewn across floor outside, lying amongst abandoned luggage

Grainy pictures showed a column of trucks, some towing artillery, stretching for more than eight miles through Russian-held territory.

The convoy is heading towards eastern Ukraine where decisive battles are expected. 

Tens of thousands of Russian troops are heading to the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk – known collectively as the Donbas.

The Kremlin is seeking a victory there to justify its ‘special military operation’, which has failed to capture any major cities. 

According to Western officials, Russian commanders believe the Donbas represents their best chance of success.

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