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At least 50% of the 30,000 paratroopers deployed to Ukraine in 2022 have likely been killed or wounded, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its intelligence update on Aug. 6.
Russia's annual celebration of Paratrooper's Day on Aug. 2 was overshadowed "by an apparently unsanctioned disclosure of the scope of the casualties the elite force has suffered in Ukraine," the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote.
Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, the commander of Russia's airborne forces, recorded a video for Paratrooper's Day saying that 8,500 paratroopers returned to duty after being wounded and "refused to leave the front line."
Teplinsky did not comment on how many troops had been killed or were too seriously wounded to return to duty in the video.
According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, the video was deleted from the Russian Defense Ministry's official channels. This "apparently unsanctioned disclosure of the scope of the casualties the elite force has suffered in Ukraine" overshadowed Russia's annual celebrations on Aug. 2, the ministry said.
According to the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Russia has lost 249,700 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 last year.