• British intelligence said Russia is hiring military personnel who have not served in the army since 2012. 
  • The UK's Ministry of Defence said Russia is dealing with "mounting losses."
  • NATO estimates that Russia has lost between 7,000 to 15,000 troops during the war.

British intelligence says Russia is trying to expand its military capacity by hiring military personnel who have not served in the army since 2012, after the Russian military has been hit with "mounting losses." 

In a statement on Twitter, as part of regular intelligence updates, the UK's Ministry of Defence said that Putin's army is working to "generate more fighting power."

It also aims to bolster its numbers by recruiting fighters from the unrecognized Transnistria region, a slither of disputed territory besides Moldova, said the UK intel.

In an unprecedented admission, Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Sky News on Friday, "we have significant losses of troops, and it's a huge tragedy for us."

It is believed Russia is planning a major new offensive in eastern Ukraine and will need to strengthen its ranks after Putin's army was mauled in an aborted attempt to conquer Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, in the early days of the invasion.

Russian soldiers are seen on a tank in Volnovakha district in the pro-Russian separatists-controlled Donetsk, in Ukraine on March 26, 2022. Foto: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday warned of a conflict that could result in the biggest war in centuries.

Speaking to the German newspaper BILD, owned by Axel Springer, Insider's parent company, Zelenskyy predicted intense fighting in the coming days.

"It could be a big war in Donbas — like the world has not seen in hundreds of years," he told BILD reporter Paul Ronzheimer.

The Ukrainian government has said that 18,900 Russian soldiers have been killed since the start of the war, according to the Kyiv Independent. NATO estimates the death toll between 7,000 to 15,000.

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