Fall turns into winter Sunday in Ukraine and the war with Russia is nearing its 250th day. The latest report from Ukrainian officials indicate that more than 70,000 Russians have been killed since the war began on February 24 earlier this year.
Things could get even worse for both sides as the war veers into potentially more harsh winter months. Note: Ukraine’s move into winter time Sunday is merely setting the clocks back one hour, comparable to what happens in most time zones.
Ukraine’s published numbers of Russian losses in Day 248 of the war indicate their have been an estimated 70,250 Russians killed since the war began. Just two weeks and 5,000 deaths ago, Ukraine President Volodymyr said Russia could reach 100,000 deaths and it would not change the Kremlin’s mind, or approach, to this war.
“So many citizens of Russia gave their lives for the opportunity of a handful of people in the Kremlin to ignore reality,” Zelensky said. “And according to the way the Russian “burial” continues, we can say that even 100,000 dead Russian citizens will not prompt the Kremlin to think about something.”
Zelensky said it’s likely Russian casualties will keep mounting at its normal rate, and that it’s Ukraine’s mission to keep fighting for their country as the harsh winter months approach.
“Only real victories for Ukraine, only real protection of itself by the free world from Russian terror and blackmail – protection with sanctions, protection with help to Ukraine, – only complete displacement of the occupiers from Ukrainian land and dismantling of the aggressive capabilities of the terrorist state – all this is the way to peace,” Zelensky said.
Russia has also lost 1,400 tactical drones, 16 boats and ships, 273 planes, 259 helicopters, 2,600 tanks and 1,700 artillery systems, according to the Ukraine defense ministry.
Russia amassed troops along Ukraine’s northern and western borders in late January while it also conducted military with neighboring Belarus. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24 this year and there have been heavy casualties on both sides. That includes Ukrainian civilians, foreign fighters, Ukrainian military and 70,000 Russians, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Defense.
Since the war began, Russia has failed to overtake Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa, but they occupied many regions in the eastern portion of Ukraine. Russia has occupied most of the Donbas Oblast, which includes Luhansk, Severodonetsk, Donetsk and Mariupol. They occupied the Crimea peninsula in 2014.
One month ago, Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions–Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson-claiming the citizens of those regions overwhelmingly voted for it. Zelensky said called the situations in Donetsk and Luhansk “difficult.”
“A very difficult situation persists in Donetsk region and Luhansk region. The most difficult is the Bakhmut direction,” Zelensky said. “As in previous days, we are holding our positions.
“In general, in the east and south, we are doing everything to make the occupiers feel that they have no prospects, no matter who they send to fight against us, it will only end in defeat for them,” Zelensky said.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.