According to Kyiv officials, Russia has lost 10,000 troops in two weeks as Ukraine continues its counteroffensive.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently failed to capitalize on Russian forces’ success in the opening phase of the war, with Ukrainians now liberating its territory, including the strategically important Kherson city.
ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman said on Saturday that Ukraine has now regained 50 percent of its territory back.
In a Sunday Facebook update, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Russia had lost some 10,000 troops in just over two weeks, with the overall figure now standing at 100,860. Since its last daily update, Ukrainian officials said another “650 persons” had been killed.
The post added that 1,837 Russian artillery systems had been captured or destroyed along with 278 planes and 261 helicopters in the past 24 hours.
It comes after Ukrainian officials announced on October 29 that 100,000 Russians had been killed since the outbreak of the war on February 24.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that Russia reached 100,000 fatalities during the war, but added that it would not change the Kremlin’s mind or approach to the conflict.
Russia rarely releases casualty and fatality figures, and last said a few thousand had died. Both its estimates and Ukraine’s have been questioned by war analysts and have been dismissed.
While Russia’s troop fatalities are not confirmed, Moscow has ordered forces to withdraw from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials have urged caution and added they are skeptical of Russia’s intentions in retreating.
Earlier this week Zelensky said: “Our emotions must be restrained. The enemy does not bring us gifts. Therefore, we move very carefully, without emotions, without unnecessary risk.”
Kherson had been the first major region to fall to Russia at the outbreak of the war and had been the most visible achievement of its campaign due to its strategic location and close proximity to annexed Crimea.
However, the retreat from Kherson this week has led Putin’s allies to hit out at the Russian military and the leader himself.
Ultranationalist Alexander Dugin, known as “Putin’s Brain,” called the Russian president on Saturday an autocrat with ultimate power over the war as he accused him of “surrendering.”
Dugin said that the retreat undermines Russian ideology by failing to defend “Russian cities.”
He then went one step further and suggested Putin could be overthrown in a veiled warning shared on Telegram.
Belarusian morgue is full of dead Russian soldiers
There’s no room in the morgue at Mazyr. It’s filled with more than 24,000 bodies of Russian soldiers.
At one hospital in this Belarusian city about 60 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, the hallways and wards are filled with the sounds of soldiers moaning from their battlefield wounds.
At the central train station, Russian soldiers have been recorded on video ferrying stretchers — holding wounded servicemen — from a military ambulance to a waiting train operated by Russia’s state railway company.
And in Naroulya, a town still closer to the Ukrainian border, residents report that a Russian field hospital has been set up in a former motor depot, and wounded Russian soldiers are being flown in from Ukraine, treated briefly, and then shipped on to Mazyr and the regional capital, Homel.
Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to extract a horrific toll on Ukrainian civilians and soldiers on both sides. Some of the deadliest attacks and fighting have happened near the Belarusian border close to Homel; near the Russian border in Kharkiv and Sumy in the east; and around southern port cities such as Mariupol and Kherson.
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