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Between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian troops are believed to have been killed in the war in Ukraine, according to Nato estimates.
Battlefield casualties suffered by Russia are thought to total between 30,000 and 40,000 since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion on February 24, an officer with the military alliance said on Wednesday.
The military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the estimate of the number killed is based on a combination of information from the Ukrainian government, indications from Russia, and open-source information.
A Lieutenant Colonel is also thought to have been captured in Ukraine, in a further sign of that Vladimir Putin’s lighting invasion plan has been derailed, officials said.
In a sign of crack’s in Moscow’s ranks, a veteran aide to Putin, Anatoly Chubais, resigned over the Ukraine war and has left Russia with no intention to return, sources said.
He is the first senior official to break with the Kremlin since the invasion began.
A month into their assault, Russian forces bombed areas of the capital Kyiv while Western leaders gathered in Brussels to plan more measures to pressure Mr Putin to halt his campaign.
Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, told reporters on Wednesday that 264 civilians in the city had been killed by Russian attacks. The noise of bombs falling could be heard in background as he spoke.
But he said Ukrainian forces had retaken the nearby towns of Makariv and Irpin from Russian control.
It was a further sign that Mr Putin’s invasion force has stalled in some areas, with fierce Ukrainian resistance thwarting its hopes for a swift victory.
However Russian artillery and air strikes maintained their bombardments on several cities on Wednesday, while civilians who have been unable or unwilling to flee sheltered underground.
“I have never seen such cruelty before,” said Kateryna Mytkevich, 38, who reached the Polish border transit hub of Przemysl with her child after fleeing the eastern city of Chernihiv. The city was “fully destroyed”, she said.
US President Joe Biden was flying to Europe for an emergency summit on Ukraine with Nato and European leaders at the military alliance’s headquarters on Thursday.
The leaders are expected to roll out additional sanctions against Russia.
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference they are also set to agree to bolster forces on the alliance’s eastern flank.