Zelensky says 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died during Russian offensive, in his first count of military casualties

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has killed 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers so far, President Volodymyr Zelensky offered the first assessment of his country’s military casualties this Sunday.

“31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in this war,” he announced at a press conference in Kiev. Not 300,000, not 150,000, as (Vladimir) Putin and his group of liars say. But each of these losses is for us. A huge loss.”

The President said he would not disclose the number of soldiers injured or missing after these two years of war. He said “thousands of civilians” had been killed in Russian-held areas of Ukraine, clarifying that the exact number would be known once the conflict ends.

Zelensky said, “We don’t know how many of our citizens have been killed. We don’t know.”

It is the first time Kiev has confirmed military casualties since Russia launched the invasion on February 24, 2022.

Russia, for its part, has provided little data on its military casualties. The most recent information came in January 2023, when the Defense Ministry said that more than 6,000 soldiers had been killed.

Data from the United States and the United Kingdom put it at a higher level. A US intelligence report made public in December 2023 estimated that 315,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in Ukraine. According to the report, if true, this figure would represent 87% of the approximately 360,000 troops Russia had before the war.

Zelensky says Ukraine’s victory “depends” on Western support

“Whether Ukraine loses, whether it is too difficult for us and whether there are large numbers of casualties, depends on you, on our allies, on the Western world,” he said at a press conference marking the second anniversary of the Ukrainian Civil War. ” Beginning of the Russian invasion.

He said, “If we are strong with weapons, we will not lose this war.”

On the other hand, the President pointed out that Russia knew about Ukraine’s retaliatory attack plan even before it was initiated by Kiev last year. “Our counter-strike action plan was on the Kremlin’s table before the counter-offensive began,” Zelensky said. For this reason, his army leaders are preparing “several strategic plans” this year due to the leak.

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