Ukraine gives update on combat losses
Ukraine is losing from 100 to 200 troops daily in the battle for the Donbass against Russia, and its allies in the Lugansk (LPR) and Donetsk People's Republics (DPR), Mikhail Podolyak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told the BBC on Thursday.
The numbers are higher than earlier figures acknowledged by Kiev.
Just over a week ago, President Zelensky said that from 60-100 Ukrainian soldiers were being killed in the Donbass on a daily basis, with another 500 injured.
Such high numbers of military casualties are the result of a “complete lack of parity” between forces in the Donbass, Podolyak explained.
Kiev needs the West to supply as many as 300 multiple rocket launch systems to level the playing field, he said.
So, far the US has only approved the delivery of four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, while the UK promised to add an unspecified number of US-made M270 launchers.
Ukrainian Defense Minister, Alexey Reznikov also spoke about the country’s military losses on Thursday, but his figures were half those claimed by Podolyak.
“Every day we have up to 100 of our soldiers killed and up to 500 wounded,” Reznikov wrote on Facebook.
“The situation on the front lines is difficult” as the Russian military “continues to press by sheer mass,” he added.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.