This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhniy says nearly 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Russia launched its ongoing unprovoked invasion almost six months ago.
Speaking at forum on August 22, Zaluzhniy said the entire country, and not just the army, is taking part in the war, as children and wives have seen their fathers and husbands “go to the front lines and are maybe among the nearly 9,000 heroes who have been killed” in battle.
Both sides in the war have been extremely cautious in revealing any casualty figures since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The last time Ukrainian officials announced losses in the armed forces was in April, when President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that up to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and 10,000 injured.
Moscow, meanwhile, classifies military deaths as state secrets and has rarely updated its official casualty figures. On March 25, the last time official figures were given, it said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed.
Ukrainian officials have put Russian losses at nearly 45,500 troops.