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Ukraine War: Zelensky aide reveals up to 13,000 dead

 

Up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the start of Russia’s invasion, a senior official has said.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said between 10,000 and 13,000 troops had died.

It is rare for Ukraine to give figures for casualties, and Podolyak’s comments have not been confirmed by the country’s military, reports the BBC.

In June he said between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers were dying daily.

Last month, the most senior US general, Mark Milley, said around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or injured since the start of the war.

In a video address on Wednesday, EU Commission head Ursula Von der Leyen said that 100,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed. However a spokesperson for the EU Commission later clarified that this was a mistake, and the figure referred to those both killed and injured.

Speaking to Ukrainian TV outlet Channel 24, Podolyak said Kyiv was “openly talking about the number of the killed”.

“We have official evaluations by the General Staff, official evaluations by the commander-in-chief [Zelensky], and they range from 10,000 to 12,500-13,000 killed,” he said.

He added that the number of civilians killed could be “significant”. BBC News had identified about 3,600 civilian deaths as of mid-June. The figure is now likely to be much higher.

Ms von der Leyen said 20,000 Ukrainian civilians had been killed. While that number was not retracted by the EU Commission, it was removed from later versions of the video along with the assertion that 100,000 troops had been killed.

Podolyak also suggested that up to 100,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the invasion began on February 24, and that a further 100,000 to 150,000 had been wounded, or were missing or unable to return to combat.

The BBC’s Russian Service has established that at least 9,311 Russian soldiers of all ranks have been killed since the invasion on 24 February while the true death toll could be more than 18,600.

In other developments:

• The Ukrainian military said Russia was using dummy nuclear-capable missiles to exhaust Ukraine’s air defences. Russia was using rockets designed for nuclear use without explosive warheads, Ukrainian military experts said, suggesting this might be because the country has used so many of its other missiles in massive strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure

• Another senior adviser to President Zelensky, Oleg Ustenko, accused BP of being entitled to hundreds of millions of pounds in “blood money” from investments in Russia. BP said it was no longer receiving any profits from Russian energy giant Rosneft

• The US and French presidents have said they will keep working together to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its actions. At a press conference during a visit by President Emmanuel Macron to the White House, President Biden also said that he was “prepared to speak to Putin” in order to broker an end to the war

• TikTok is hosting dozens of videos glorifying violence by Russia’s Wagner group of mercenaries, according to a new report. The videos have been viewed more than a billion times, found US-based organisation NewsGuard. Tiktok said it will act against any content violating its policies.

 

 

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