The number of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers killed or wounded since the war in Ukraine began in February 2022 is approaching 500,000, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing US officials.

Officials have warned that it is difficult to estimate the number of casualties because they believe Moscow is underestimating the number of people killed and injured in the war, and Kyiv does not publish its official figures, he said.

The US estimates are based on satellite images, intercepted telephone conversations, social media and media messages, and official data from Kyiv and Moscow. Ukrainian and Russian officials did not comment on these figures.

According to the New York Times, nearly 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers died, and between 100,000 and 120,000 were wounded.

On the other hand, Russian military losses approach 300,000, including 120,000 dead and 170,000-180,000 wounded, the NYT reports.

The losses of the Russian Federation rose sharply in the winter and spring of this year during the battle for the city of Bahamut in the Donetsk region: hundreds of Russian soldiers were killed or wounded every day. However, Ukraine also suffered heavy losses during the city’s defense.

Also, the death toll rose after Kyiv launched a counter-offensive earlier this year. Ukraine suffered significant losses of “thousands of troops” in the first weeks of the counteroffensive as it tried to break through Russian defense lines in the south. There were also problems with evacuating the wounded and providing medical assistance on the battlefield.

After the change in tactics and the switch to bombing Russian positions, Ukrainian losses have decreased significantly, but now Washington fears that Ukrainian ammunition reserves will run out quite quickly.

In addition, despite Russia’s significant losses, the Russian Federation has a total of 1.33 million troops, while Ukraine has almost three times less – about 500,000, according to the NYT.

Almost half a million soldiers
The counteroffensive in southern Ukraine Ukrainian military.

Ukraine’s military announced on Thursday that it had made territorial gains in a counteroffensive against Russian forces on the southeastern front.

Kyiv announced that Ukrainian forces had liberated the village of Urojaine, the first such advance since July 27, but warned that breaking through heavily mined Russian defense lines was very difficult without air support.

In its daily report, British intelligence estimates that Ukraine’s offensive over the past week has continued to advance along the Mokri Yala River. However, much of the front line in Ukraine remained unchanged.

US officials told CBS News that the Ukrainian military has progressed. Ukrainian troops breached a Russian minefield north of the Russian-held city of Tokmak. This important barrier town lies between Ukrainian forces and the city of Melitopol in the Zaporizhia region. CBS states that recapturing towns like Tokmak and advancing further to Melitopol will be difficult for the Ukrainian counter-offensive.