RUSSIA has suffered its deadliest day on the battlefield after Ukraine claimed to have killed over 1,000 troops in just 24 hours.
The blood of Putin's men was reportedly spilled before they had even advanced 30ft as they staged another winter assault in the east.
Tens of thousands of mobilised Russian soldiers have been engaged in close-contact trench warfare as they try to take hold of the city of Bakhmut.
It has been the backdrop for a string of bloody battles for months, but Putin's forces have now changed tactics.
Instead of hastily trying to capture different areas of Ukraine at once, Russia is now conducting concentrated battles on specific fronts.
It's in response to a string of humiliating defeats, as Ukraine wiped out much of Russia's war machine and recaptured territory.
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Ukraine's defence minister Oleksii Reznikov said they have learned from their mistakes of having "scattered resources."
He told Pravda: "Now their new tactic is concentrated, creeping attempts to capture, little by little, ten metres at a time, push away and wring out."
But Russia only able to capture a few 100m of territory a week as "inexperienced" units being used as cannon fodder to try and achieve "unrealistic objectives".
Reznikov said his war-torn nation is on standby for huge assaults as the symbolic anniversary of the full-scale invasion, February 24, approaches.
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But Ukraine claims to currently have a leg up on the enemy after reportedly wiping out over 1,030 men in just 24 hours.
Clashes on the snow-covered battlefields yesterday are said to have left the area littered with Russian corpses.
It marks the highest daily death toll of the war so far, although the figure was not independently verified.
It would take their tally of Putin's personnel killed since the start of the war to a whopping 133, 190.
Ukraine also claim to have wiped out 14 tanks, 28 armoured combat vehicles, one artillery system, three vehicles and tankers as well as five special vehicles.
The Russian military claim to have inflicted 6,500 Ukrainian casualties in January alone, but has not updated its own death toll since September.
The armed forces have made little progress in their pursuit of seizing the city of Bakhmut in the meatgrinder war.
Putin is now pouring reinforcements into Eastern Ukraine to beef up his winter offensive – amid fears he is plotting a major move to coincide with the first anniversary of the conflict.
Vadym Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence, has predicted between 300,000 and 500,000 Russians will likely be drafted.
That figure is on top of the hundreds of thousands of mobilised men signed up to service by the Russian President.
Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, said: "We are seeing more and more [Russian] reserves being deployed in our direction, we are seeing more equipment being brought in.
"They bring ammunition that is used differently than before – it is not round-the-clock shelling anymore.
"They are slowly starting to save, getting ready for a full-scale offensive.
"It will most likely take them 10 days to gather reserves. After Feb. 15 we can expect [this offensive] at any time."
Russian forces are reportedly keen to recoup last year's losses this month, after their progress stagnated amid Ukraine's spectacular counter-offensives.
But Putin's bumbling men appear to have been replaced by brutal mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who continue to surround Bakhmut to bag a "symbolic" victory.
The invaders are expected to push towards Slovyansk and Kramatorsk if they succeed, potentially permitting Moscow to capture the entire eastern Donetsk region.
Polish think tank Rochan Consulting estimated at the start of January that around 30,000 Ukrainian troops were defending Bakhmut.
The frantic fight has proved costly for both sides, with each suffering high casualties on the tough terrain, with very little ground gained.
However, Russia's big plans of a devastating land grab were deemed "unrealistic, by a UK Ministry of Defence assessment.
It stated: "Russian forces have only managed to gain several hundred metres of territory per week.
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"This is almost certainly because Russia now lacks the munitions and manoeuvre units required for successful offensives.
"Russian leaders will likely continue to demand sweeping advances. It remains unlikely that Russia can build up the forces needed to substantially affect the outcome of the war within the coming weeks."
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