Putin says Ukraine facing heavy losses in conflict

Russia's President Putin takes part in Valdai discussion club meeting

(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that hard-line Ukrainian nationalists were willing to "fight until the last Ukrainian" in the conflict with Russia.

Putin said Ukraine had suffered heavy losses in the eight-month conflict and criticised Ukrainian "hardline patriots" and "banderites," a tag Russian officials and commentators often use to describe Ukrainian fighters who they say are neo-Nazis and fascists, for being willing to sacrifice their fellow fighters.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Chris Reese)