Ukraine: Zelenskyj names number of soldiers killed for the first time

Ukraine: Zelenskyj names number of soldiers killed for the first time

Two years after the Russian attack on Ukraine, the president takes stock in a surprisingly open manner. Meanwhile, Russian soldiers were filmed committing another war crime.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has given official casualty figures for the first time since the war began over two years ago. According to Zelensky, 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have fallen so far at a press conference in Kiev on Sunday. However, he put the Russian military’s losses at 180,000 dead and 500,000 wounded. So far, neither warring party has officially given its own casualty figures. The information could not initially be independently verified.

In an initial reaction from Moscow, Zelensky was accused of lying. “Every Ukrainian, especially the soldiers, recognizes that Zelensky is lying,” the state agency Tass quoted Russian Foreign Office spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying. The Ukrainian authorities continued to try to hide the true number of casualties. She did not comment on the Russian losses mentioned.

In a brief military review of the previous year, Zelensky admitted the failure of his armed forces’ autumn offensive. This was shattered, among other things, by a deeply staggered Russian defense and deep minefields. “And I can openly admit it – our counteroffensive was already on the table in the Kremlin before it even began,” he hinted at betrayal. That’s why he doesn’t want to talk any further about his next plans. “The fewer people know about it, the faster success and unexpected results will come for the Russians.”

Russians apparently shoot seven Ukrainian prisoners of war

However, much of the planning depends on Ukraine’s partners. “But the main thing is to have a plan at all,” said Zelensky. “And the plan exists.”

According to an official statement from Kiev, Russian troops are said to have shot seven Ukrainian prisoners of war. The execution took place on Saturday near the Russian-captured city of Bakhmut in the east of the country, Ukrainian human rights commissioner Dmytro Lubinets reported on Telegram on Sunday evening. He cited a video recording that showed Ukrainian soldiers “with their hands raised” as they surrendered. “The Russians were supposed to capture them, but instead shot them mercilessly.” The information from Kiev could not initially be independently verified.

“Such an execution is a war crime,” Lubinez continued. This case must be registered as another violation of international humanitarian law by Russia, he demanded.

Just a few days ago, Russian soldiers were accused of executing at least six wounded Ukrainian soldiers who could not be evacuated in time during the capture of Avdiivka. In this case too, Kiev relied on video footage from a drone. This allegation could not be independently verified either.

Ukraine: New Russian missile and drone attacks

A series of explosions shook the suburbs of the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Sunday evening. According to the local military administration, the Russian army is said to have fired several rockets at the region. At least four people were injured and several houses were destroyed.

Late in the evening, an air alarm was sounded in the Dnipro region and in neighboring Kharkiv. The reason was aerial reconnaissance findings about incoming combat drones.

French President Emmanuel Macron is organizing an international support conference for Ukraine this Monday in Paris. 20 heads of state and government are expected, including, according to the Élysée Palace, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Other countries are taking part in the meeting at ministerial level two years after the start of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine. In view of Ukraine’s difficult military situation, the aim of the working meeting is to better coordinate the urgently needed defense aid for Ukraine and to send a signal of European unity and determination to Russia, it was said in Paris. Ukrainian President Zelenskyj is expected to take part in the meeting via video link.

The future of Europe is at stake in Ukraine, said a presidential adviser in Paris before the meeting organized at short notice. Accordingly, European military aid must do justice to the tense situation on the front in Ukraine. There is a hardening of Russia’s demeanor and Russia is gaining too much space. But the country must not win the war and Europe’s stability must not suffer any more.

In the current year, Ukraine is to receive military aid worth up to three billion euros from France, while Germany wants to provide almost eight billion euros in aid.

Source: Stern

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