Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr ZelenskyyReuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in action in the two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of his country, The Associated Press reports.

Zelenskyy said that the number was far lower than estimates given by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

“31,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed in this war. Not 300,000, not 150,000, not whatever Putin and his deceitful circle have been lying about. But nevertheless, each of these losses is a great sacrifice for us”, Zelenskyy said at a forum in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian President said that he wouldn’t disclose the number of troops that were wounded or missing. He also said that “tens of thousands of civilians” had been killed in occupied areas of Ukraine, but said that no exact figures would be available until the war was over.

His comments mark the first time that Kyiv has confirmed the number of its losses since the start of Russia’s full-scale war on February 24, 2022.

Russia has provided few official casualty figures. The most recent data from the Defense Ministry, published in January 2023, pointed to just over 6,000 deaths, although reports from US and UK officials put that number significantly higher, noted AP.

A US intelligence report declassified in mid-December 2023 estimated that 315,000 Russian troops had been killed or wounded in Ukraine. If accurate, the figure would represent 87% of the roughly 360,000 troops Russia had before the war, according to the report.