Russia lost over 220,000 soldiers killed and wounded in Ukraine – British Defence Minister.

According to the latest estimates from the American side, Russia's casualties in a full-scale war with Ukraine amount to more than 220,000 killed and wounded.

"The Russian forces have some really significant and deep systemic problems at the moment in their efforts. The latest US assessments I have seen now put casualty figures over 220,000 dead or injured," - said Ben Wallace, Minister of Defence of the United Kingdom.

In February, British intelligence reported that since the beginning of the invasion, Russia and the Wagner Private Military Company mercenaries had suffered losses from 175,000 to 200,000 people, of which 40,000 to 60,000 were killed.

Russia plans to conscript over half a million people this year.

Russia plans to increase its army by 400,000 people this year; it is reported that in 2022, the occupiers were likely to recruit more than 500,000 people.

Bloomberg, referring to the Federal Statistics Service data and sources familiar with the conscription plan in the Russian Federation.

Bloomberg, citing data from the Russian Federal Statistics Service, reports that the size of the Russian army last year increased by approximately 400,000 people. According to the news agency, the military of the Russian Federation probably was strengthened by 500,000.

In addition, according to Bloomberg’s sources familiar with the Kremlin's plan, Russia plans to call up another 400,000 contract soldiers this year as Putin prepares for a prolonged war against Ukraine.

The total strength of the Russian army, as reported by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, is planned to increase to 1.5 million from 1.15 million by 2026.

The agency notes that Putin's drive to expand Russia's Armed Forces is exacerbating labor shortages as the war against Ukraine draws hundreds of thousands of workers from other sectors of the economy into the army.

Kremlin predicts a long hybrid war, so Russians should "unite around Putin."

Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, believes that the "hybrid war of hostile countries against the Russian Federation" will last for a while, so Russians should "unite around Vladimir Putin".

Peskov evaded the question of when Russia's war against Ukraine will end, but he said that the "hybrid war of unfriendly countries against the Russian Federation" will last for a long time.

"And if you mean the war in a broad context – confrontation with hostile states, unfriendly countries, this hybrid war unleashed against our country – then it will last for a while. And here we need grit, loyalty to ourselves, determination, and unity around the president," - said Peskov.

Peskov is sure that in the Russian Federation, there is an "unprecedented consolidation around the president, the supreme commander-in-chief, around the policies he is pursuing."

In addition, he declared that confidence that all the goals of the so-called "special military operation" [i.e., the war against Ukraine – ed.] will and must be achieved "absolutely predominates" among Russians.