Sad Milestone Reached in Ukraine – 100,000 Dead: On Thursday evening, Ukrainian officials announced that the Kremlin may have reached the grim 100,000 dead milestone. An image marking the number of Russian soldiers who are believed to have lost their lives in the senseless war in Ukraine was projected along the side of the Vernadsky National Library in the capital of Kyiv.
The image was shared across social media by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s office.
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“The situation with light has improved in Kyiv,” Tymoshenko wrote in the Telegram post accompanying the photo, according to an English translation.
The announcement came just a day after Zelensky had traveled to Washington to address a joint session of Congress. Upwards of 660 Russian troops may have been killed that same day.
Grim Milestone in Ukraine War
Though unconfirmed by Western officials, it would be especially noteworthy as it nearly double the number of U.S. servicemen killed in the decade-long war in Vietnam, and nearly eight times as high as the number of Soviet soldiers killed in Moscow’s 10-year-long adventure in Afghanistan.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had also estimated that Russia has lost around 3,000 tanks, and approximately 6,000 other armored vehicles since it launched its unprovoked invasion in late February. Russia has not confirmed the losses, but the Kremlin has not released any figures on its losses.
Last month, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had told attendees at the Economic Club of New York that he believed both sides in the terrible conflict had seen casualties surpass 100,000, including dead and wounded.
“You’re looking at well over 100,000 Russian soldiers killed and wounded,” Milley explained. “Same thing probably on the Ukrainian side.”
The Pentagon has used satellite imagery, communication intercepts, social media, and on-the-ground media reports to arrive at those figures. The U.S. military chief said that the invasion has also resulted in the deaths of some 40,000 Ukrainian civilians, while it has displaced upwards of 30 million. He described it as “a lot of human suffering.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to withdraw his forces in the wake of such losses, but this week he appeared to at least acknowledge that the Kremlin’s “special military operation” – as it had been described – was not exactly going as planned. For the first time this week, Putin used the word “war” to describe the conflict and has said he would like to see it come to an end.
“Our goal is not to spin this flywheel of a military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war,” Putin said during a news conference Thursday. “This is what we are striving for.”
Putin’s use of “war” was quickly met with criticism from supporters of those who have been prosecuted for previously using the term to describe the situation in Ukraine.
“Alexei Gorinov was sentenced to seven years for calling the war a war at a meeting of the council of deputies,” Georgy Alburov, an ally of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said in a tweet. “Vladimir Putin today also publicly called the war a war at his workplace. So either release Gorinov or put Putin in jail for seven years.”
It was also earlier this month that Putin said the “special military operation” was taking longer than expected. It would seem that the Ruissian leader is hoping for a way out of the conflict while not actually losing.
“Russia could stop its aggression…but you can speed up our victory,” Zelensky told American lawmakers on Wednesday night and added. “Your money is not charity, it’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.”
Though some Republican lawmakers have called for an end of aid to Ukraine, it seems with a little more U.S. support, Kyiv could achieve victory.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.