Kiev lost 17,000 troops in September – Moscow
The Ukrainian military continues to suffer heavy losses almost four months into its much-hyped counteroffensive, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed at a meeting of ministry officials on Tuesday. Kiev has lost more than 17,000 servicemen this month alone, he claimed.
Ukraine has also parted with more than 2,700 pieces of military equipment over the same period, the minister added. The list of hardware destroyed by Russian forces includes seven US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, two German-made Leopard tanks and one British-made Challenger tank, as well as 77 US-made M777 artillery pieces and 51 self-propelled howitzers from Germany, France, Poland, and the US, according to Shoigu.
Kiev does not disclose statistics about its military losses, but Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that the counteroffensive has been less successful than hoped, and is being waged at a serious cost to the army. Ukraine’s Western backers have also become increasingly skeptical about the prospects for the operation.
According to Shoigu, Ukrainian forces have still failed to achieve any major successes on the battlefield despite the heavy losses. Kiev launched its counteroffensive in early June, but according to Moscow it has failed to make any tangible gains since it began.
In early September, Shoigu said that Ukraine had lost more than 66,000 troops and over 7,600 pieces of heavy equipment since the start of the operation. The new update brings these figures to 83,000 and 10,300, respectively.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Kiev was suffering particularly heavy losses of armor on the Zaporozhye front, adding that Russian forces had destroyed multiple German Marder and US Stryker infantry fighting vehicles.