Russia Cancels 'War Olympics' After Heavy Losses In Ukraine, Says UK
Russian team members on a T-72 B3 battle tank salute during the finals of the tank biathlon last year's games in Alabino, outside of Moscow.
Russia has cancelled an annual military festival dubbed the “War Olympics” in the wake of heavy losses in Ukraine, according to UK intelligence.
The Russian International Army Games was scrapped as the 14-month long conflict continues.
According to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), the games are “Russia’s attempt to re-establish the military at the heart of popular culture”.
In their latest intelligence update on the war, the MoD said the main reason for the cancellation was because it could be seen as “frivolous in wartime”.
But they added: “There is also a realistic possibility that due to losses in Ukraine, the Russian MoD is concerned a shortage of tanks, tank crews and other skilled personnel will risk the Russian team’s usual domination of the medals table.”
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 28 April 2023.
Find out more about Defence Intelligence's use of language: https://t.co/Kl7GmbQvdr
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/8KRkiBdBKz
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 28, 2023
Moscow has suffered up to 200,000 casualties since the invasion of its neighbour in February last year.
Earlier this month it emerged that thousands of them were linked to alcohol consumption.
The MoD 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.