Zelensky says 31000 Ukrainian soldiers lost their lives in the war against Russia

He did not reveal the number of wounded, saying that it would benefit Russia’s military strategy.

The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have lost their lives in the war with Russia, which started two years ago.

He did not reveal the number of wounded, saying that it would benefit Russia’s military strategy.

He also said that many civilians have died in the regions of Ukraine under Russian control, but the exact number is unknown.

Zelensky made these statements on Sunday, in contrast to the higher figures that Russia has claimed.

Ukraine usually does not disclose its military casualties, and other sources have given different numbers. For example, US officials said in August that 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and up to 120,000 injured.Zelensky also reported that 180,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and many more injured.

According to BBC Russian and Mediazona, more than 45,000 names of deceased Russian servicepeople have been verified, but the total number could be higher. The UK’s defense ministry estimated in February that 350,000 Russian troops had been killed or injured.

Zelensky’s speech followed the criticism of his defense minister, Rustam Umerov, who said that Western allies have not delivered the promised military aid to Ukraine. He said that this has affected Ukraine’s ability to fight Russia and regain its territory and added that Ukraine has done everything possible, but without timely supply, it suffers.

He mentioned that Germany had warned in November that an EU plan to send a million artillery shells to Ukraine by March would not be fulfilled. In January, the EU said that only half of them would arrive by the deadline, and the rest would be delayed until the end of 2024.

Zelensky also said that one of the reasons why Ukraine did not launch its counter-offensive earlier last year was the lack of weapons. That counter-offensive failed to achieve its goals, and Ukraine has faced several challenges since then.

Zelensky also hinted that Russia had obtained information about the counter-offensive before it started.

Last week, Ukraine had to withdraw from the strategic town of Avdiivka, which was captured by Russia. Zelensky partly blamed this on the insufficient Western weapon supplies.

The US administration also said that a $60bn aid package for Ukraine that was blocked by Congress had an impact on the loss of the town.

On Saturday, Western leaders visited Kyiv to express their support for Ukraine. They announced that Italy and Canada had signed security agreements with Ukraine, which would increase their assistance until Ukraine could join Nato.

Canada’s agreement included more than three billion Canadian dollars (£1.7bn) in financial and defense aid.

Russia is also facing difficulties in supplying its military forces, according to Western officials.

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