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10 Jan, 2024 07:48

Number of severely injured Ukrainian troops up by 30% – ABC News

A hospital in Dnepr is receiving up to 100 soldiers in a serious condition daily, an official told the outlet
Number of severely injured Ukrainian troops up by 30% – ABC News

The number of severely wounded Ukrainian soldiers streaming from the frontline has soared by 30% with many of them crippled for life, ABC News reported on Tuesday, citing the head of a major hospital.

Russian forces now enjoy key advantages, including a greater number of drones, the capability to counter Kiev’s own unmanned aerial vehicles as well as larger stocks of ammo, unnamed soldiers have told the outlet.

Dr. Sergey Ryzhenko of the Mechnikov Hospital in Dnepr, one of the oldest and largest in Ukraine, told the broadcaster the facility is now taking in between 40 and 100 seriously wounded service members a day, a 30% increase on previous casualty figures.

His team is performing between 50 and 100 surgical procedures per day on the soldiers, many of which are amputations. 

Doctors at the hospital have performed amputations on about 3,000 service members since the escalation of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, Ryzhenko told the outlet.

ABC also spoke with a Ukrainian amputee who lost his arm in a Russian drone strike, noting that these weapons have become one of the most dangerous in Moscow’s arsenal.

Ukraine is heavily dependent on its Western backers for military supplies. The US has struggled to approve further funding for Ukraine due to Republican opposition in Congress; additionally, the EU has so far been unable to greenlight €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid for Kiev because of Hungary's veto.

Ukraine has been reluctant to release the official data of its battlefield losses but it recently announced plans to mobilize an additional 500,000 troops.

The conscription campaign, which has been underway since the early days of the conflict, has been marred by draft dodging and corruption. Ukraine’s former Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko suggested that Kiev might convince the population to join the fight by revealing the true scale of its losses, which he estimated at 500,000, or 30,000 a month.

Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that Ukraine had lost 383,000 troops since late February 2022, and on Tuesday he stated that Kiev’s casualties in 2023 alone reached 215,000 soldiers. According to Moscow, Ukraine suffered particularly heavy losses during its botched summer counteroffensive that failed to gain any significant ground.

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