A top adviser for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has revealed that between 10,000-13,000 of the country’s soldiers have died fighting the ongoing Russian invasion. The revelation comes as the Russo-Ukrainian War enters its ninth month and both sides prepare for an inevitably cold winter.
Mykhailo Podolyak made the rare comments during an interview with Ukrainian television network Channel 24, adding that the number of soldiers who’ve been injured during the Russian invasion greatly surpasses the amount who have died. Civilian casualties are also said to be “significant.”
“We have official evaluations by the General Staff, official evaluations by the commander-in-chief [Mr. Zelenskyy], and they range from 10,000 and 12,500-13,000 killed,” he revealed. This recent estimate follows comments Podolyak made in June 2022, which stated that between 100-200 Ukrainian soldiers were dying each day as a result of the fighting.
During the same interview, he also suggested that up to 100,000 Russian soldiers had perished since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War on February 24, 2022, while a further 100,000-150,000 have been wounded, or are missing or unable to return to combat.
Podolyak’s comments have yet to be confirmed by the Ukrainian military, which has remained relatively quiet regarding the total soldier casualties suffered throughout the Russian invasion. The last update came in August 2022, when the head of the country’s armed forces said that nearly 9,000 servicemen had lost their lives in the fighting.
Earlier this week, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Union’s (EU) Executive Commission, claimed that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since February. However, these comments were later corrected by her office, which said that total referred to the overall number of casualties, not just deaths.
The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office also recently published a report, which stated that 6,655 civilians have been killed and another 10,368 have been wounded since February, but acknowledged the total is likely higher, as these figures cover only confirmed casualties.
In early November 2022, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that “well over” 100,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in the invasion thus far, with some 40,000 Ukrainian citizens having also lost their lives.
His comments were echoed by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, who added that Russia has “probably lost half of their main battle tanks” and expended the majority of the military’s precision-guided munitions since the beginning of the conflict.