Volunteers carry remains of a Uragan rocket as they clean the area around the Orthodox Svyato-Heorhiyivs?kyy Skyt of the Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery destroyed in a shelling in the village of Dolyna, Donetsk region.
The children of Russia’s “elite” are being protected from the impact of the war in Ukraine, according to UK intelligence.
In their latest update on the conflict, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Russia “continues to suffer extremely heavy casualties”.
However, areas containing ethnic minorities are taking “the biggest hit” while “the richest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been left relatively unscathed”.
“This is especially true for the families of the country’s elite,” the MoD said.
“On 21 February 2023, Russian senior officials were photographed making up the front two rows of the audience of President Putin’s state of the nation speech. None of these are known to have children serving in the military.
“In many of the eastern regions, deaths are likely running, as a percentage of population, at a rate 30+ times higher than in Moscow.
“In places, ethnic minorities take the biggest hit; in Astrakhan some 75% of casualties come from the minority Kazakh and Tartar populations.
“As the Russian MoD seeks to address its continued deficit of combat personnel, insulating the better-off and more influential elements of Russian society will highly likely remain a major consideration.”
The illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is continuing.
The map below is the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 11 March 2023.
Find out more about Defence Intelligence's use of language: https://t.co/Q556veYzIS
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/RTRuEc0HP5
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 12, 2023
Russia has stepped up its bombardment of Ukraine in recent weeks, while America has warned that the war could go on for years.
Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to zero in on the eastern city of Bakhmut, which has turned into a gruelling battlefield in recent months and is completely without power, gas or water.