In three years, the nation’s population has plummeted by a staggering two million people with the effects of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine both blamed by the Defense Ministry.

The majority, 1.2 million Russians, left their homeland after the start of Putin’s ill-fated decision to invade their neighbors in February 2022.

Many of those who left the country were well-educated people in high-value industries, the Defense Ministry intelligence report posted on Twitter says.

It says: “Russia’s Ministry of Communications said that about 10 percent (100,000) of the IT workforce left the country in 2022 and did not return.

“Mobilization, historically high emigration and an aging and shrinking population are limiting the labor supply.

“This is likely to lead to a reduction in the potential growth of the Russian economy and risks stoking inflation.”

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In Ukraine the owner of RussiaWagner’s military contractor has threatened to withdraw its troops next week from the protracted battle for the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut, accusing Moscow’s military command of starving its forces of ammunition.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with long-standing ties to the Russian president Vladimir Putinclaimed that Wagner’s fighters had planned to capture Bakhmut before May 9, RussiaThe Victory Day holiday celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany. But they were short of supplies and suffering heavy losses, he said, and would hand over the operations to the regular army on May 10.

It is not the first time that Prigozhin has been enraged by the shortage of ammunition and guilt Russia‘s military, with which it has been in conflict for a long time. Known for his bragging, he has previously made unverifiable claims and threats that he has not followed through on.

Prigozhin’s spokesmen also released a video of him on Friday yelling, cursing and pointing at about 30 uniformed bodies lying on the ground. He says they are Wagner fighters who died only on Thursday and demands ammunition from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

“These are someone’s parents and someone’s children,” says Prigozhin. “The scum that don’t give us ammunition will eat their guts in hell.”

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