Ukraine LIVE: Navy Day 'spoiled' – humiliating blow for Putin as Russian Black Sea HQ hit

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Ukraine has given Vladimir Putin’s Russia a “bloody nose” and may have inflicted casualties in excess of 100,000 troops, a former Army officer and defence analyst has said.

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford, who served in the Royal Tank Regiment for 20 years, including during the Gulf War in 1990-91, retired in 1999.

The Ministry of Defence yesterday said Ukraine’s counteroffensive was gathering momentum in the Russian-controlled southern Ukrainian city of Kherson – something which was no surprise to Lt Col Crawford.

He told Express.co.uk: “I said back in March that what I thought would happen was that the war would get stuck in the Donbas and the Ukrainians would, with Western help, slowly build up their weaponry, train up their soldiers and mount a counter-offensive aiming to retake curse in the south and threatened the Crimea.

“And that seems to be what’s happening, although I’m slightly wary of it because the Ukrainians have been so open about their intention to attack Kherson and threaten Crimea that I’m just wondering whether that’s disinformation that they’re carrying out, and they’re going to do something else.

“But I think the essential truth is that the Russians have exhausted their immediate military capability and are undertaking what we call an operational pause, where they sort of catch their breath basically, rearm, retrain, bring fresh troops in etc.”



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