Russia Churning Through the Cannon Fodder

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The Kremlin is sending units from southern Ukraine to fight in Donbas, according to Ukrainian officials, and losing so many men that continued Ukrainian resistance could eventually force it to shift strategies again.

In a video released on Twitter early Wednesday, fighters claiming to be from the Donetsk People’s Republic, a pro-Russian breakaway area, said they had already sustained heavy losses, and didn’t want to fight for Russia in Luhansk, after already having fought to take Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov, which is adjacent to the Black Sea.

“We refuse to go to the slaughter,” one fighter says in the video. “We don’t want to be cannon fodder.”

As Moscow seeks to boost morale and replenish its manpower for its offensive, Mr. Putin visited wounded soldiers at a Moscow hospital, his first known visit since the war began, and the Russian parliament adopted a bill lifting age limits for enlisting in the military.