Ukrainian President Reveals Death Toll in War with Russia

Volodymyr Zelenskyy discloses casualties, seeks US Congress aid for Ukraine.

Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday admitted that at least 31,000 soldiers have died in the ongoing war with Russia, CNN reported.

This statement comes one day after marking the second anniversary of Russia's 'full-scale invasion' in 2022.

Zelenskyy, while addressing a press conference, disputed Russian claims of much higher numbers when it comes to Ukrainian casualties. The Ukrainian president also said "tens of thousands of civilians in occupied parts of the country" have been killed.

Ukraine's battlefield losses are a closely guarded secret, but US officials estimate some 70,000 soldiers have been killed -- and nearly twice that number wounded, as reported by CNN.

Notably, this statement is significant as throughout the conflict, Kyiv has been hesitant to admit how many soldiers have been killed.

Former Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in June 2022 that he believed tens of thousands of Ukrainians had been killed since February of that year. But two months later, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, then the head of Ukraine's armed forces, said 9,000 troops had been killed.

Russia, meanwhile, has lost a staggering 87 per cent of the active-duty ground troops it had prior to the invasion, CNN reported citing a source familiar with a declassified US intelligence assessment.

The Ukrainian President further said that he has hope for gaining additional military aid from the US.

"I have hope for the US Congress, and I am sure it will be a positive solution," Zelensky said at the press conference on Sunday.

"Otherwise, I don't understand which world we live in -- definitely a different world. That is why we count on the US Congress. They know we need their support through the months ahead, and I met senators and bipartisan representatives.

This comes as US President Joe Biden on Saturday, urged House Speaker Mike Johnson and members of Congress to return from a two-week break and pass much-needed aid for Ukraine.

The speaker on the other hand, has resisted calls to bring a Senate-passed aid package up for a quick vote -- a move that would almost certainly spark a revolt from some members of his own party. While visiting Ukraine last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also called on House Republicans to pass the aid bill.

Zelenskyy also stated that there is "no alternative" but to win the war against Russia.

He thanked Ukrainians for their 'resilience' throughout the conflict thus far, and suggested a peace summit in Switzerland could take place in the spring.

( Source : ANI )
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