Hours after Putin rally in Moscow, Ukraine claims Russia has lost 14,400 soldiers so far

·2-min read

Ukraine claimed on Saturday that more than 14,400 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war between the two countries so far, just hours after Russia’s president Vladimir Putin staged a massive flag-waving rally in Moscow to prop up support for his ongoing invasion.

Russia’s combat losses in Ukraine from 24 February, when the invasion began, to 19 March included “about 14400 people”, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Previous updates issued by the same official account on social media confirm Ukraine believes these personnel to have been killed.

In a post shared on Facebook, the Ukrainian military command also claimed that Russia has also lost over 450 tanks and 1,450 armoured personnel vehicles.

It added that Russia has lost about 95 planes and 115 helicopters since the conflict began late last month.

“The data is getting more precise. The calculation is complicated by the high intensity of combat,” the official update noted.

The announcement from the Ukrainian military comes just hours after Mr Putin made one of just a handful of public appearances since the invasion started, praising the “special operation”.

He spoke at a massive flag-waving rally in Moscow, attended by thousands of Russians who were crammed into the capital’s Luzhniki World Cup stadium.

At the event, marking the eighth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, well-known singer Oleg Gazmanov sang “Made In The USSR”, which has the opening lines “Ukraine and Crimea, Belarus and Moldova, It’s all my country”.

The Russian president sought to project confidence despite a faltering military campaign, saying: “We know what we should do now and how we should do it, and we will implement all our plans.”

The event came as the latest UN count indicated at least 816 civilians have been killed and 1,333 wounded in Ukraine since the conflict began.

Reacting to the rally in a video message late at night on Friday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said the 200,000 people gathered in and around the Moscow stadium was about the same number of Russian troops sent into Ukraine three weeks ago.

In the video, filmed outside in Kyiv, Mr Zelensky asked his audience to picture the stadium filled with the thousands of Russians who have been killed, wounded or maimed in the fighting.

And he called on his Russian counterpart to hold talks with him directly.

“It’s time to meet, time to speak. I want to be heard by everyone, especially in Moscow,” the Ukrainian president said.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015.

Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.

To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting