A top Ukrainian official claims only 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Russia invaded the country in February. The numbers provided by Mykhailo Podolyak, a close adviser to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, were not substantiated by any documentation apart from the claim.
Podolyak provided his numbers on Ukrainian state TV, where he claims the government in Kiev is “openly talking about the number of the killed.”
“We have official evaluations by the General Staff, official evaluations by the commander-in-chief (Zelensky), and they range from 10,000 to 12,500-13,000 killed,” he said.
Podolyak’s numbers are a stark contrast to figures provided by European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, who said that 100,000 Ukrainian “officers” were killed earlier this week.
A spokesperson for Von Der Leyen walked back the claim, stating it was a figure that referred to both killed and injured. Her video speech was deleted and reposted with a portion of her remarks removed.
Despite contradictory details from Ukraine, U.S. General Mark Milley estimated that around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded since February.
Ukraine has not released any official figures for total military casualties, and is accused of downplaying the numbers when it does. Podolyak’s remarks were not confirmed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
BBC reports that Podolyak’s own claim contradicts his previous figures, in which he estimated that between 100 to 200 Ukrainians soldiers were dying daily in June.