'More than 10,000' Ukrainian fighters killed since Russian invasion

More than 10,000 Ukrainian fighters have been killed since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, Kyiv officials have said

  • More than 10,000 Ukrainian fighters have been killed since Russia invaded 
  • The grim milestone was announced by Ukrainian official Oleksiy Arestovych, 
  • Kyiv claims Russia has lost three times as many troops since Vladimir Putin launched his offensive on February 24

More than 10,000 Ukrainian fighters have been killed since Russia launched its invasion, the country’s government said yesterday.

The grim milestone was announced by presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych, who said daily losses since February had averaged 100 soldiers.

Kyiv claims Russia has lost three times as many troops since Vladimir Putin launched his offensive on February 24, although British intelligence puts the figure at 15,000 – the same number killed during the Soviet Union’s decade of war in Afghanistan.

The Kremlin has provided no casualty figures since March.

The gutted remains of cars lie along a road during heavy fighting at the front line in Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A Ukrainian soldier crouches on a position during heavy battles in the front line in Severodonetsk, the Luhansk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A Ukrainian soldier stands in a position during heavy fighting on the front line in Severodonetsk

Meanwhile, Ukraine pledged ‘to help as much as possible’ with efforts to release two British men who fought with its armed forces and were last week sentenced to death by a Russian proxy court.

British Army veteran Shaun Pinner, 48, and former care worker Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, face death by firing squad in rebel-held Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. A third captured Briton, Andrew Hill, is awaiting trial.

Mr Pinner’s family said yesterday they were ‘devastated’ at the outcome of the ‘illegal show trial’, adding that he should be treated as a prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention. ‘We sincerely hope all parties will co-operate urgently to ensure the safe release or exchange of Shaun,’ they said.

‘Our family, including his son and Ukrainian wife, love and miss him so much and our hearts go out to all the families involved in this awful situation.’

Mr Aslin’s fiancee Diana Okovyta, who is being supported by his local Conservative MP Robert Jenrick, said she wished he knew that he had not been ‘abandoned and will not be forsaken’.

Russia claims the pair are mercenaries, despite the fact that both have lived in Ukraine since 2018 and have Ukrainian partners.

They served with Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade and were taken prisoner in Mariupol in April.

Their families hope they will be freed in a prisoner exchange with Russia and Kyiv is understood to have told the UK they will be given ‘priority’ in any such deal.

But presidential adviser Alexander Rodnyansky said: ‘There will be an extremely high price, which will mean we will have to exchange a lot of prisoners, Russian prisoners, in return for these two men.’

Battles continued yesterday in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine with ‘intense street-to-street fighting’ in the city of Severodonetsk. Both countries’ supplies of shells are reportedly being sapped by the ‘war of artillery’ in the region.

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