Russian military confirms casualties in Ukraine operation
The Russian military has suffered casualties, and some soldiers have ended up captured by the opposing forces during the ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov acknowledged on Sunday during a press briefing, as he provided a daily update on the conflict.
“Since the launch of the operation, [Russian military] has destroyed 254 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 31 aircraft on the ground, 46 multiple launch rocket systems, 103 pieces of artillery and mortars, 164 pieces of special military vehicles,” Konashenkov stated.
Russian soldiers are showing courage and heroism as they carry out combat missions of the special military operation. Unfortunately, there are killed and wounded among our comrades.
The official did not specify the number of casualties among Russian troops, stating only that they are “many times less than the number of eliminated nationalists,” as well as casualties suffered by Ukraine’s regular military forces.
A small number of Russian servicemen have been taken prisoner by Ukrainian troops, Konashenkov admitted, condemning the treatment they’ve received at the hands of the opposing force.
“We know how the Ukrainian Nazis treat the few captured Russian servicemen,” he said. “And we see that the abuse and torture are the same as those of the German Nazis and their henchmen in the Great Patriotic War.”
The Russian military has been closely monitoring footage purportedly showing the abuse of the country’s soldiers at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists, the official warned, promising to bring those involved in such behavior to justice.
“This applies to the leaders of the Kiev regime and their minions, who directly call for abuse of Russian military personnel in violation of the convention on the treatment of prisoners of war,” Konashenkov said. “All of you will be found and will inevitably face severe retribution.”
Any Ukrainian soldiers who ended up captured by Russian troops, however, are – and will be – treated “decently,” the official stressed. “All who laid down their arms and ceased resistance will be returned to their families,” Konashenkov added.
Moscow launched the military operation in Ukraine on Thursday, explaining it was the only option left to prevent an allegedly looming attack by Kiev’s forces on the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the country’s east. Kiev has denied harboring such plans, insisting it has not been seeking to retake the region, which broke away from Ukraine back in 2014 after the Maidan events. Days before the offensive was launched, Moscow formally recognized the republics as independent states. The Ukrainian government slammed the attack as “unprovoked.”