Zelensky’s advisor Mykhailo Podolyak claims death of more than 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in conflict
Earlier in the day, The Ukrainian general staff reported that Russian forces continued to launch rocket attacks against Ukraine.
In a rare comment on such figures and far below estimates of Ukrainian casualties from Western leaders, a top advisor to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cited military chiefs as saying 10,000 to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the country’s nine-month struggle against Russia’s invasion.
The Ukrainian general staff reported on December 2 that Russian forces continued to launch rocket attacks on infrastructure and airstrikes against Ukrainian troop positions along the contact line. Moscow’s military offensive has focused on a dozen towns, including Bakhmut and Avdiivka, which are important targets for Russia in the beleaguered east.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a key adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, provided updated information on Ukrainian soldiers killed in combat late on Thursday. He also noted that the number of wounded soldiers was higher and that the number of civilian casualties was “substantial.”
According to Mr. Podolyak, who spoke to Channel 24, “We have official data from the general staff, and we have official figures from the top command, and they amount to between 10,000 and 12,500-13,000 fatalities.”
Such numbers have not been confirmed by the Ukrainian military, and it was unusual for a Ukrainian official to provide such a count. The most recent occurred in late August when the military chief reported that approximately 9,000 service members had died. In some of the most intense fighting and violence this year, Mr. Podolyak claimed in June that up to 200 soldiers were losing their lives every day.
The president of the executive commission of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, stated on Wednesday that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed before her office called her remarks inaccurate and clarified that the number referred to both killed and injured.
According to Gen. Mark Milley, the head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, as many as 40,000 civilians from Ukraine and “well over” one million Russian soldiers have been killed or injured so far in the conflict. The “similar thing probably on the Ukrainian side,” he continued.
The U.N. human rights office reported 6,655 civilian deaths and 10,368 injuries in its most recent weekly report, which was released on Monday. However, the office has acknowledged that its count only includes fatalities that it has independently verified and likely vastly underestimates the true number.