Zelensky reveals for the first time that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in the war against Russia

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has revealed for the first time the number of casualties suffered by the Ukrainian armed forces in the first two years of the war with Russia. The president estimated that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have lost their lives since the start of the full-scale invasion, a very low number compared to figures provided by various international organizations. U.S. estimates leaked last year put the number of dead Ukrainian soldiers at 70,000, more than double the figure cited by Zelensky.

The figure, explained the Ukrainian president in a press conference this Sunday in Kiev on the occasion of the second anniversary of the invasion, This does not include injured or missing soldiers. “That’s a lot of people for us,” acknowledged Zelensky, who dismissed estimates that put Ukraine’s death toll at 300,000. The exact number will only be known after the end of the war, he said. An end that is far away today.

Zelensky also recalled that “tens of thousands of civilians” had died or been murdered after being tortured in the Russian-occupied territories. For its part, the Kremlin has not provided official data on the number of victims in its ranks, which is significantly higher than that of Ukrainians, but Zelensky did provide the estimate used by Ukraine. “180,000 Russians died”said the head of the Ukrainian state. Another half a million Russian soldiers were injured in the fighting, he added.

Zelensky emphasized this in the same appearance His country’s victory over Russia “depends” on the support of the West and said he was “confident” that the United States would approve the currently blocked military aid package. “Whether Ukraine loses, whether it will be very difficult for us and whether there will be a lot of victims, depends on you, on our partners, on the Western world,” he said, adding that he was “sure that (the vote in… US Congress) ) will be positive.

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Impossible negotiation

The Ukrainian president also expressed his vision of possible peace talks with Moscow that would allow for a negotiated solution to the war, a path unsuccessfully explored in Istanbul more than a year and a half ago. «Can you talk to a deaf person? Is it possible to talk to a person who kills his opponents? Zelensky wondered.

The Ukrainian leader insisted on his peace formula – a document that, among other things, calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory – as the only possible negotiating framework. “We will offer him (Putin) an opportunity to accept that he lost the war and that it was a big mistake,” said Zelensky, who hopes to hold an international summit in Switzerland this spring to bring something to as many countries as possible give their support for his peace formula. Once the support of these countries is won, he explained, the document will be presented to Putin, as was the case with the grain agreement sponsored by Turkey and the United Nations.

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