EU chief’s assessment of Ukrainian casualties deleted
A claim about the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed during the conflict with Russia has been removed from a speech by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the executive’s official website.
“More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” she declared during an address earlier on Wednesday, adding that around 20,000 civilians had also died in nine months of fighting. The source of this information was not provided.
However, her reference to Kiev's death toll soon disappeared from the text of the speech on the European Commission’s website. It was also cut from a video of the address on the website and on von der Leyen’s account on Twitter.
The editing was noticed by some media outlets and social media users, who compared the two versions of the statement online. The move was then officially confirmed by the European Commission.
📹🇪🇺🇺🇦🇷🇺Comparison between the first video posted by Ursula von der Leyen and the second video that was cut pic.twitter.com/qntMDTCJ92— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) November 30, 2022
The EU executive body’s spokeswoman Dana Spinant took to Twitter to thank those who had “pointed out the inaccuracy” in von der Leyen’s speech.
“The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia’s brutality,” she wrote.
In late September, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had by then amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times greater than Russia’s.