Vladimir Putin is running out of hospital beds for his wounded troops as the Kremlin scrambles to shift the blame onto 89 recent recruits who were blown to bits by a Ukrainian strike.
Putin has reportedly ordered mass use of civilian hospitals to cope with the numbers of maimed troops, seen as a direct consequence of his mass mobilisation in recent weeks.
The Kremlin chief was reported to be back at work early after a short New Year holiday to demand a report from his health and defence ministries on using non-military hospitals to cope with the flood of wounded.
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The aim is to commandeer beds to “provide individuals who have participated in the special military operation with in-patient medical care and rehabilitation”, said the Kremlin.
This comes after the worst single Russian loss in the 10-month war following a Ukrainian strike on a barracks of mobilised men and regular troops.
Lt-Gen Sergey Sevryukov sensationally tried to blame the victims, saying their banned use of mobile phones alerted Ukrainian intelligence to their coordinates.
“A commission is working to investigate what happened [in Makiivka],” said Sevryukov.
“But even today it is clear that the main reason was personnel switching on and using – despite the ban – mobile phones within the enemy reach zone.
“This allowed the enemy to detect the personnel’s coordinates for the missile strike.”
Wives of soldiers complain their men were “turned into minced meat” blaming “criminal commanders” who placed hundreds of mobilised men together "inviting a Ukrainian strike".
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Putin is facing a wave of criticism over the Makiivka attack.
“There are a lot of people who turned into minced meat,” a military wife reported iStories independent media.
“They were not even allowed to take the deceased men, and did not allow them to be buried.
“Many were thrown around so much that they can’t be put together […] many were simply minced meat.
"I know that literally they were wiping their brains off their boots.”
Even pro-Putin Wargonzo channel, whose founder Semyon Pegov was last month awarded the Order of Courage by Putin, criticised the Kremlin version of events.
Pegov said multiple intelligence, including drones, radio intercepts and spies, would have alerted Ukraine to the mass presence of mobilised troops in the makeshift barracks.
“The story about ‘mobiles’ is not too convincing,” said the channel.
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