Up to 200 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed every day in Russia’s military onslaught, according to an adviser to Ukraine’s president – and only more and more advanced Western weaponry will turn back the Russian offensive, reduce the casualties and force Moscow to the negotiating table.
Mykhailo Podolyak told the BBC in an interview aired Thursday that the daily loss of between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers is the result of a “complete lack of parity” between Ukraine and Russia, which has “thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear at the front” in its bid to advance in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and beyond.
Recently Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put the daily death toll at up to 100, but Podolyak said it had grown. Ukrainian officials have pointed at the mounting losses to emphasize their demand for more Western weapons, which have been critical to the country’s unexpected success in holding off the larger and better equipped Russian forces.
After a bungled attempt to overrun Kyiv in the early days of the war, Russia shifted its focus to the Donbas region of coal mines and factories. But its progress there has been plodding.
Podolyak said delivery of state-of-the-art artillery systems would not only curb Ukraine’s death toll, it would help its forces reclaim seized territory.
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SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — The euphoria that accompanied Ukraine’s unforeseen early victories against bumbling Russian troops is fading as Moscow adapts its tactics, recovers its stride and asserts its overwhelming firepower against heavily outgunned Ukrainian forces.
Newly promised Western weapons systems are arriving, but too slowly and in insufficient quantities to prevent incremental but inexorable Russian gains in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, which is now the focus of the fight.
The Ukrainians are still fighting back, but they are running out of ammunition and suffering casualties at a far higher rate than in the initial stages of the war. Around 200 Ukrainian soldiers are now being killed every day, up from 100 late last month, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky told the BBC on Friday — meaning that as many as 1,000 Ukrainians are being taken out of the fight every day, including those who are injured.
The Russians are still making mistakes and are also losing men and equipment, albeit at a lesser rate than in the first months of the conflict. In one sign that they are suffering equipment shortages, they have been seen on videos posted on social media hauling hundreds of mothballed, Soviet-era T-62 tanks out of storage to be sent to Ukraine.
But the overall trajectory of the war has unmistakably shifted away from one of unexpectedly dismal Russian failures and tilted in favor of Russia as the demonstrably stronger force.
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