By Elsa Maishman and Jaroslav Lukiv
Up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the start of Russia’s invasion, a senior official has said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said between 10,000 and 13,000 troops had died.
Neither Ukraine nor Russia tend to release figures for casualties, and Mr Podolyak’s comments have not been confirmed by the Ukrainian military.
In June he said between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers were dying daily.
Last month, the most senior US general, Mark Milley, said around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or wounded since the start of the war.
In a video address on Wednesday, EU Commission head Ursula Von der Leyen said that 100,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed. However a spokesperson for the EU Commission later clarified that this was a mistake, and the figure referred to those both killed and injured.
Mr. Podolyak claimed that Kyiv was “openly talking about the number of the killed” in an interview with Ukrainian television station Channel 24.
He added: “We have official assessments by the General Staff and the commander-in-chief [Mr. Zelensky], and they range from 10,000 to 12,500-13,000 killed.
He continued by saying that “significant” numbers of civilians may have been killed. By the middle of June, 3,600 civilian fatalities had been reported by BBC News. The number is probably much higher now.
According to Ms. von der Leyen, 20,000 civilians in Ukraine were killed. Although the EU Commission did not retract that figure, it was eliminated from later iterations of the video along with the claim that 100,000 troops had been killed.
Additionally, Mr. Podolyak asserted that between 100,000 and 150,000 Russian soldiers had been wounded, gone missing, or were otherwise unable to participate in combat since the invasion’s start on February 24.
The BBC’s Russian Service has established that at least 9,311 Russian soldiers of all ranks have been killed since the invasion on 24 February while the true death toll could be more than 18,600.
In other developments:
- The Ukrainian military said Russia was using dummy nuclear-capable missiles to exhaust Ukraine’s air defences. Russia was using rockets designed for nuclear use without explosive warheads, Ukrainian military experts said, suggesting this might be because the country has used so many of its other missiles in massive strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure
- Another senior adviser to President Zelensky, Oleg Ustenko, accused BP of being entitled to hundreds of millions of pounds in “blood money” from investments in Russia. BP said it was no longer receiving any profits from Russian energy giant Rosneft
- The US and French presidents have said they will keep working together to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its actions. At a press conference during a visit by President Emmanuel Macron to the White House, President Biden also said that he was “prepared to speak to Mr Putin” in order to broker an end to the war
- TikTok is hosting dozens of videos glorifying violence by Russia’s Wagner group of mercenaries, according to a new report. The videos have been viewed more than a billion times, found US-based organisation NewsGuard. Tiktok said it will act against any content violating its policies.