Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects preparations of mobilised reservists at a military training centre in Ryazan Region


  • Former Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev made the comment during an interview with Sky News
  • Bondarev added that Putin only planned for the war in Ukraine to go on for one or two weeks
  • Moscow has lost over 67,000 military personnel as of Sunday

Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to sacrifice the lives of millions of soldiers just to "slaughter" Ukrainians and win the war, according to a former Russian diplomat.

The comment was made by Boris Bondarev while speaking to Sky News' Political Editor Beth Rigby. Bondarev is a Russian diplomat who worked for the Russian permanent mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva until his resignation in May 2022 over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"You should have no doubt about it. He may sacrifice 10 or 20 million Russians just to win this war just to slaughter all Ukrainians because it's a matter of principle," Bondarev said, adding that Putin knows his political career will end if he loses the war in Ukraine.

Bondarev also said Putin had not planned for the war to go on for nine months, adding that the Russian leader only "planned it to be a very short, very easy war for one or two weeks."

"I think the 20 years of him in power have been very lucky for him. He is not smart. He is just lucky. Now I think his luck is over," Bondarev added.

There are varying reports about the number of military losses that Russia has suffered since the war began in February. According to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Moscow has lost 67,470 military personnel as of Sunday. However, the latest official Russian tally, published Sept. 21, only puts Moscow's military death toll at 5,937.

On Oct. 7, Russian independent news outlet Mediazona, in collaboration with BBC News Russia, put Moscow's death toll at 7,184. The outlet noted that the number only reflects publicly available data and "does not reflect the real level of losses."

"These numbers do not represent the actual death toll since we can only review publicly available reports — including social media posts by relatives, reports in local media, and statements of the local authorities. Also, the number of soldiers missing in action or captured is unknown," the outlet wrote in its report.

In recent weeks, Ukraine has successfully pushed Russian forces behind their defensive line amid a fierce counteroffensive operation. The subsequent loss of occupied territories and manpower has led Putin to announce a partial mobilization order and call up 300,000 reservists to be deployed to the frontlines.

At a train station in the town of Dzhankoy in the north of Crimea, Kherson residents were boarding a train for Russia