CNN national security and military analyst retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said Thursday on “Situation Room” that the Russian military deaths and defections are higher than the United States realizes.

Blitzer said, “As you know, the U.S. and allies estimate thousands of Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine so far. The high end of these estimate is 7 to 10,000 in three weeks of fighting. What does that say to you, General, about Russia’s ability to wage this war?”


Hertling said, “Well, what I’d say, Wolf, first of all, is, I think those numbers are exceedingly conservative. I think there are casualties, not only that are killed in action but Russians who have surrendered who have deserted their equipment, is much higher than that.”

He added, “Not, you know, focusing on a body counts or anything like that. But we’re seeing a campaign where the Russian military was not prepared to conduct this kind of a conventional operation. Their soldiers have run away from the fight and the only thing left is some of the horrific and inhuman ways that Russia is using artillery and missile and rocket strikes to terrorize the civilians of the great nation of Ukraine.”

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