Russian invasion kills 42K Ukrainian civilians since start of war, US officials say
A reported 42,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, U.S. officials told Fox News.
The data was based on the latest American battlefield assessment of the war, and the number of deaths is roughly five times greater than previously reported.
Officials also said 50,000 Russian forces have been killed, which continues to rise, and 180,000 have been wounded.
Ukrainian forces, while not as severe, have also suffered greatly with 20,000 killed in action and 130,000 wounded over the past nearly 15 months.
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The White House and Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the new casualty figures.
The Pentagon hopes the additional American ammunition – another $375 million announced over the weekend – and the decision by the White House to reverse course and allow Ukrainian pilots to train on American-made F-16 fighter jets, will help break a months-long stalemate in the war.
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In the White House readout from the G-7 in Japan, following President Biden’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, there was no mention of a spring offensive, which U.S. officials anticipate will get underway in earnest in the coming weeks.
Some Pentagon officials have been privately frustrated at the delay in Ukraine launching its highly anticipated counteroffensive after hundreds of millions of dollars in arms and ammunition have arrived in recent months and are ready to be used on Russian forces.
There was also no mention of defeating Russia in Ukraine in the White House readout. Pentagon officials said they are under restrictions from the White House not to use the word “win” in public statements.
Some foreign policy experts point to the British for leading the way when it comes to introducing new weapons to Ukraine — first training Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation jets (British forces do not fly F-16s, but Tornado fighter-bombers) ahead of the White House announcement and the U.K.’s decision to send Ukraine Storm-Shadow cruise missiles similar to American-made Tomahawk cruise missiles, but with a more limited range.
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Despite Russia’s claims to have won the months-long battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Zelenskyy said on Sunday in Hiroshima, Bakhmut has “not [been] captured by the Russian Federation today. There cannot be two or three interpretations of this.”