For the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has acknowledged ‘significant losses’ of troops. Meanwhile, the Russian army continues its bloody assault in Ukraine, with the citizens of Borodyanka being the latest victims.
On 24 March, one month after Russia invaded Ukraine, NATO estimated that up to 15,000 soldiers had died in Ukraine. Moscow at the time only announced 498 deaths on their side.
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted to a “significant loss of troops in Ukraine” in an interview with Sky News, saying “it’s a huge tragedy for us”. While he did not specify the casualty count, the latest numbers Russia acknowledged were 1,351 deaths and 3,825 wounded soldiers.
‘Act of goodwill’
Russian troops have withdrawn from northern Ukraine, according to British military reports, and are now situated in Russia and Belarus. Meanwhile, cities in eastern and southern Ukraine continue to be shelled by the Russians.
Peskov also said that withdrawing their troops from the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions was an “act of goodwill” to “lift tension from those regions”, thanks to negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegations.
“It shows that Russia is really ready to create comfortable conditions for the continuation of negotiations,” he said. Peskov also claimed that western sanctions do not pose an existential threat to Russia, as the country is used to sanctions and has prepared for them.
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He also added that the heavily-bombed Mariupol is part of the “people’s republics” recognised by Moscow. “Mariupol will be liberated from nationalist battalions better sooner than later in the operation,” he said, denying war crimes such as the attack on a hospital in Mariupol or the murdering of civilians in Bucha.
‘Worse than Bucha’
Meanwhile, war rages on as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the situation in the small town of Borodyanka is “considerably worse” than in its neighbouring Butcha.
Reportedly, 26 bodies have been found among the rubble of two residential complexes, and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova suspects there are many more victims of the airstrikes.
Moscow denies attacking civilian targets.