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Moscow estimates Kiev’s military losses

Ukraine has suffered over 444,000 casualties in two years, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has claimed

Kiev has lost over 444,000 troops in two years of hostilities against Moscow, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated on Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said last week that his side recorded some 31,000 fatalities in the two years of fighting. Kiev-friendly Western media have pointed out that the figure is significantly lower than what the US estimated in the summer of last year.

Shoigu said the high attrition rate on the Ukrainian side was evidence “that the US strategy to contain Russia at the cost of Ukrainian lives and passive economic and military support of the Kiev regime has no way forward.” Speaking at a ministerial meeting, he said the average daily cost of the conflict for the Ukrainian army was more than 800 troops and 120 pieces of weaponry. He did not break down casualties into killed and wounded soldiers.

Zelensky made his statement on Sunday, contrasting his 31,000 figure with Russian estimates, which he branded as lies. He declined to say how many Ukrainian soldiers were injured, explaining that revealing that information would benefit Moscow’s military planning.

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Relatives of a deceased Ukrainian soldier visit his grave on Sunday in Odessa.
Zelensky releases first official Ukrainian casualty count

Reacting to Zelensky’s remarks, The New York Times noted that his report “differed sharply” from estimates by US officials made last August. At the time sources said some 70,000 Ukrainians had been killed and 100,000 to 120,000 had been wounded in action.

A number resembling the one cited by Zelensky was mentioned last week in a statement by the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk, which marked the second anniversary of the hostilities. It said the mission in Ukraine had verified 30,457 civilian casualties since the conflict escalated in February 2022.

”Every Ukrainian citizen, and every military service member in particular, realizes that Zelensky is lying,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said of the claim on social media.


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She suggested that the president may have downplayed the loss of Ukrainian lives in order to secure more foreign funding. Ukrainians “are not humans for Zelensky, but units, on which he can get more Western money,” she claimed.

February 27, 2024 at 06:16PM
RT

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