Almost 90,000 Russian soldiers are said to have died in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. At least that's what the government in Kyiv says. With regard to own losses, however, one keeps a low profile. The fact that EU Commission President von der Leyen is now naming a number is not well received.
Ukraine has reacted with irritation to the EU's mention of allegedly high Ukrainian war losses. Speaking to Ukrainian public television, Presidential Spokesman Serhiy Nykyforov emphasized that only the supreme commander of the armed forces, the defense minister or the president can publish reliable figures on the casualties.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make official data public "when the right moment" has come, as this is sensitive information. According to Nykyforow, Kyiv has already asked Brussels where EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen got her information.
A speech by der Leyens that had been published on Twitter and has since been deleted caused a stir. She spoke of more than 100,000 killed Ukrainian soldiers. Just under three weeks ago, US General Mark Milley estimated the Ukrainian casualties at around 100,000 soldiers.
Ukraine has been repelling a Russian invasion since February. Both sides rarely provide information about their own losses. However, Kyiv publishes daily figures on alleged deaths on the part of Moscow. According to this, 88,880 Russian soldiers have fallen since the beginning of the invasion. Among other things, 2,914 tanks, 5,872 armored vehicles and 1,902 enemy artillery systems have already been destroyed.
An army spokesman also did not want to give any specific information. "We cannot confirm this figure and emphasize that the Ukrainian army's casualties are official information that is classified as confidential," Bohdan Senyk told the Ukrajinska Pravda online portal. At the same time, he said that Kyiv would welcome it if the information provided by von der Leyen would help bring those responsible for the war in Russia to justice.