Ukrainian UAVs block Russia's 'pipe-lining' tactic

President Zelensky said that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died since fighting broke out two years ago, but refused to reveal the number of wounded.

“31,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in the conflict. Not 300,000 or 150,000 as President Vladimir Putin and his subordinates claimed. However, this is still a heavy loss for us,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a press conference in Kiev today.

This is the first time Ukraine has announced loss of life in more than a year. The last time this figure was disclosed was at the end of 2022, when Mr. Zelensky’s adviser said that 13,000 soldiers had died since the beginning of hostilities. US defense officials in August 2023 estimated that Ukraine had about 70,000 soldiers killed and 120,000 injured.

The President of Ukraine refused to mention the number of people injured or missing in combat, saying that statistics would help the Russian military plan its response. He also hopes that the US Congress will approve a military aid package for Ukraine in the near future.

“The outcome of victory or defeat, the difficulties on the battlefield and the number of Ukrainian casualties will depend on our partners and the Western world. There is still hope in the US Congress, and I am sure that is the faith.” positive sign,” he said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later said that Mr. Zelensky’s statement about the number of casualties “are lies that do not give confidence to the Ukrainian people and the West.”

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced in November 2023 that 383,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or wounded since the beginning of the conflict. Nick Reynolds, an analyst at the British Royal Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI), said that this number might be too high compared to reality but added that this is still “a very painful war for people.

Ukraine is facing many difficulties in mobilizing personnel and training new recruits. President Zelensky said late last year that the army proposed mobilizing an additional 450,000-500,000 recruits to continue the war with Russia. However, recruiting more troops is a difficult problem for Kyiv, when not many people are willing to enlist after two years of conflict.