Zelensky says 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have died since Russia invaded

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had died since February 24, when Russia began its invasion.

Zelenskyy released the figure at a press briefing, marking the first time the Ukrainian government has released an estimate of the country’s military casualties, according to The New York Times. Zelenskyy called the Russian invasion a “war of annihilation”.

The UN also announced on Saturday that Ukraine had recorded 1,581 civilian casualties, including 579 dead and 1,002 injured. The UN said 42 of those killed were children.

“Most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery and multiple rocket launcher bombardments, as well as missile and air strikes,” the UN said.

The UN said these figures were only preliminary and that “actual figures are considerably higher”.

The number of casualties Russia suffered as part of its invasion is less clear. Ukrainian authorities said this week that more than 12,000 Russian troops had been killed, although Russia put the figure at just under 500, The Washington Post reported.

Russia also disputed the number of Ukrainian military casualties, saying 2,870 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. according to Russian state media Tass. As Julie Coleman of Insider previously reported, US officials have called for extreme skepticism of Russian casualty figures and warned of the difficulty of independently verifying military and civilian casualties in the active war zones.

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