A significant minority of Russia's 200,000 Ukraine War casualties have been due to non-combat causes, with many linked to alcohol abuse, the United Kingdom Defense Ministry assessed in a Sunday morning intelligence update.
The UK Defense Ministry said that Russian sources have indicated a high number of alcohol-linked incidents, crimes and deaths among deployed Russian soldiers.
"Russian commanders likely identify pervasive alcohol abuse as particularly detrimental to combat effectiveness," said the UK Defense Ministry. "However, with heavy drinking pervasive across much of Russian society, it has long been seen as a tacitly accepted part of military life, even on combat operations."
Road traffic accidents are another issue leading to the deaths of soldiers, according to the ministry. Last Sunday a convoy of five Z-STS Akhmat armored vehicles crashed on route to Crimea on the Kerch Strait Bridge, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate reported on Monday. Four out of the five vehicles reportedly required significant repairs.
Military irresponsibility also to blame
Deaths linked to accidental firearm deaths have also been afflicting Kremlin forces invading Ukraine. The UK Defense Ministry on Sunday described these as being related to "poor weapon handling drills." Western intelligence services reported failures to properly train those called up for service following the partial mobilization of Russian reservists in September.
Lack of proper equipment was also an issue western intelligence said was afflicting mobilized Russian citizens. The UK Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Russian troops had also suffered casualties due to hypothermia.