Ukraine: Putin humiliated as written military orders recovered
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The aircraft, a 6.5kg reconnaissance drone, was reportedly shot down by Ukrainian forces. Ukraine Weapons Tracker reported: “An extremely rare Russian Merlin-VR unmanned aerial vehicle for the first time was shot down by Ukrainian forces. This is one of the most modern Russian reconnaissance drones with a payload of 6.5 kg and capable of flying at an altitude of up to five kilometers.”
The aircraft is an experimental drone which was only revealed to the public in September 2021.
It has not yet been officially listed as in service with the Russian army.
According to Ukrainian figures, Zelensky’s forces have shot down 593 Russian unarmed aerial vehicles, 215 aircraft and 180 helicopters since the war began on February 24, 2022.
They have also reportedly destroyed 1,122 tanks, 2,713 armoured vehicles and 509 artillery systems.
Russian forces have also taken heavy human casualties.
At least 25,100 Russian soldiers have been killed, according to Ukrainian estimates.
The UK Ministry of Defence’s more conservative estimate puts Russian casualties at around 15,000 – the same number of soldiers that were killed in the Afghanistan war, which lasted for nine years.
But Zelensky’s forces are also taking heavy losses, with a Ukrainian official estimating that up to 1,000 soldiers are being killed or wounded each day in the Donbas region of Ukraine alone.
In May, the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) revealed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is inflicting $4.5bn (£3.6bn) worth of damage to the country’s infrastructure each week.
As of last month, the total amount of direct infrastructure damage was valued at $92bn (£73.7bn) since the invasion began on February 24, 2022.
At least 33,000 sq metres of residential buildings have suffered damage during the war, estimated to be worth as much as $30bn (£24bn) in total.
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Meanwhile, more than 23,000km of road and 90,000 cars have been damaged or destroyed in the fighting.
But Western allies have thrown their weight behind Ukraine’s war effort, supplying them with weapons and training to support their defence against Russian forces and providing investment to rebuild the country once the war is over.
Just today, the UK Government lent support to a £3.5bn support package to rebuild Ukraine.
The UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Summit, which took place in London today, saw representatives from Ukraine and international business leaders discuss how the international community can help rebuild the country after the war.
UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency, has pledged to retain its £3.5 billion worth of financial support for trade to Ukraine.
The Government said this support will help the country fund its reconstruction projects and allow UK exporters and Ukrainian buyers to access the finance they need to trade commercially.
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