Number officially mentioned for the first time: Zelensky: 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed so far

Number officially mentioned for the first time
Zelensky: 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed so far

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So far, Ukraine has remained cautious about its own losses. Now President Zelensky is giving a concrete number for the first time: 31,000 soldiers have died in the past two years of war. He is also pushing for the release of US military aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has given official casualty figures for the Ukrainian military for the first time: 31,000 soldiers have died since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression two years ago, as Zelensky said at a press conference. “I don’t want to say the number of wounded,” he added.

Zelensky rejected the loss figures cited so far by the American or Russian side, which spoke of 100,000 to 300,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed. “This is all nonsense.” Zelensky put Russian losses at 180,000 dead and 500,000 wounded. The president’s statements could not initially be independently verified.

It is the first time that one of the warring parties has officially given its own casualty figures. The number of casualties on the Russian side mentioned by Zelenskyj is significantly higher than the daily updated count of the Ukrainian armed forces, which put the total number of Russian losses at 409,820 dead and wounded.

Zelensky: “We have no alternative”

At the end of the war against Russia there can only be victory for the Ukrainian president. “We have no alternative not to win,” said Zelensky. “Because if Ukraine loses, then we will no longer exist.” If there is a defeat, there will be many victims in Ukraine. But this means the West is responsible.

After two years of war, Zelensky was now anticipating a “year of change.” “This year the format of the end of the war will emerge,” he said, without giving details. Zelenskyj categorically rejected negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Can you talk to a deaf person?” he asked. “Can you talk to someone who kills his opponents?”

Exact casualties among military personnel have so far been kept strictly secret by both sides. US estimates from the summer of 2023 put around 70,000 dead Ukrainian and 120,000 dead Russian soldiers. In mid-February, the US Department of Defense estimated the number of killed or wounded Russian soldiers at 315,000.

UN counts thousands of dead civilians

Zelensky did not want to comment on the victims among the Ukrainian population. These numbers are currently unknown, he said. According to the latest figures from the United Nations (UN), at least 10,000 civilians, including more than 570 children, have lost their lives in Ukraine. Experts assume that the actual number of victims may be higher than reported by the UN.

Zelenskyj also continued to place his hopes on the military aid package worth almost $60 billion that was pending in the USA. “I am convinced that there will be good news,” said Zelensky. He met with senators from both parties. “You know what we need.” Ukraine is counting on the United States to “remain the leader of the free world.”

The aid package from Washington has already passed the Senate, but is being blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives. “When we talk about American aid, it’s less a question of money and more of weapons,” Zelensky said. “And if we don’t receive it, we will become weaker.” Ukraine is urgently dependent on new weapons and especially ammunition from the West. Recently, the Ukrainian armed forces had to accept serious setbacks due, among other things, to a lack of ammunition.

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