In a relatively pessimistic update, hard-line Russian milblogger Aleksander Sladkov described the necessity for Moscow to “not play with lives of soldiers,” citing heavy losses and calling for a transition to a “war footing” economy in order to win the war.

In a Telegram update published on Tuesday that started with “Ukraine will not collapse itself,” Sladkov claimed that it was part of Kyiv’s strategy to fight a prolonged conflict with Russia, and Russia should not “play along” with it.

Sladkov perceived Ukraine as the West’s tool to deplete Russia of personnel and resources, and Russia should conserve its resources to develop the nation instead by switching to a “war footing” in order to win the war.

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Sladkov noted that a war economy is “unprofitable” in the long run, but maintained that it is a necessary move.

“I understand that putting the entire Russian economy on a war footing is unprofitable. It's like building giant cities for short-term residence. The war will end, what to do with it then?” said Sladkov.

“But nonetheless. We need enormous combat potential to win this war,” he added.

At the end of the update, he also added that “today there is no reason to doubt our chosen strategy,” possibly bid to avoid seemingly criticizing Russia’s war efforts, which could land him in jail.

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While this mirrors Ukraine’s top commander Valery Zaluzhny’s recent “stalemate” statement, Sladkov’s update painted a grim picture of Russia’s capabilities to fight a prolonged warfare as opposed to Zaluzhny’s view that a prolonged war would ultimately benefit Russia.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Zaluzhny’s recent statements might have prompted “even the most positive Russian milbloggers to make more straight and honest assessments about the Russian war effort,” like that of Sladkov.

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