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Zelenskyy says Ukraine has suffered a 'big loss' of 31,000 soldiers during the war — less than half of US estimates

Zelenskyy says Ukraine has suffered a 'big loss' of 31,000 soldiers during the war — less than half of US estimates
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 31,000 of his soldiers have died since the Russian invasion.

  • US officials estimated the death toll to be more than twice that, around 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

  • Both Russia and Ukraine are intensifying efforts to draft more soldiers to the battlefield.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country has lost 31,000 soldiers since the Russian invasion began two years ago.

It's the first time Zelenksyy has released an official death toll, though it's less than half of past US estimates of the country's losses, which have projected some 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died, The New York Times reported.

"This is a big loss for us," Zelenskyy said during a press conference in the nation's capital of Kyiv, according to the Times. Earlier this month, he said the death ratio of soldiers has been 1 Ukrainian dead for every 5 Russians. In August, the Times reported that American officials had cautiously estimated that both sides had suffered a combined total of around half a million casualties.

Meanwhile, both sides are trying to mandate more soldiers to the battlefield with drafts.

Russia is sending poorly trained soldiers to die on the battlefield by the hundreds of thousands, and they might not even have adequate weapons for all of them.

In Ukraine, military recruiters have confiscated passports and reportedly even tried to enlist a man with a lifelong mental disability.

February 24, 2024, marked the second anniversary of Russia's invasion. Russian leaders initially thought it would win the war after mere days. Instead, the invading nation has secured some territorial victories in Bakhmut and Avdiivka at the expense of tens of thousands of its soldiers. Meanwhile, Ukrainians are urging the US and other allies to continue supporting them, warning that without continued funding, European nations like Poland could be targeted next by Vladimir Putin.

Read the original article on Business Insider