US intelligence services estimate that 20,000 Russian fighters have been killed in Ukraine since December and another 80,000 have been wounded in combat, a White House spokesman said Monday.
"Since December, we estimate that Russia has had more than 100,000 combatants killed or wounded, including 20,000 combat deaths," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said during a news conference. He noted that half of the dead belonged to the Russian private military group Wagner, and most were former prisoners "thrown into the fighting in Bakhmut (eastern Ukraine) without sufficient military training or command."
"The bottom line is that Russia's attempted offensive has failed after months of fighting and extraordinary losses," Kirby said. Separately, the spokesman declined to comment on losses suffered by Ukraine, which is backed by a coalition of Western countries led by the United States. "It is up to them to talk about it or not. I will never make public anything that makes it difficult for them. They are the victims, Russia is the aggressor," he said.
Most of the fighting in Ukraine in recent weeks has focused on the eastern Donbas region, particularly the city of Bakhmut. The Russians have very gradually advanced into this largely destroyed industrial city, which they claim to control up to 80% of.
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