Ukraine war live: 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since Russia invaded, Zelenskiy says | World news

Zelenskiy says 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since Russia invaded

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion two years ago, giving the first official figure for more than a year.

Zelenskiy told a news conference in Kyiv that he could not disclose the number of wounded because it would help Russian military planning, Reuters reported.

“31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in this war. Not 300,000, not 150,000 … Putin is lying there … But nevertheless, this is a big loss for us.”

Ukraine has not put a number to its military losses since the end of 2022, when presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the invasion.

Russia does not disclose military losses, which it regards as secret.

Email link

Key events

Serbia has sent a note of protest after Croatia’s foreign minister described president Aleksandar Vucic as a Russian “satellite” in the Balkans.

It was the latest spat between the two neighbours, which have been at odds for most of the time since the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, AP reported.

Croatian foreign minister Gordan Grlic-Radman told N1 television on Saturday that Mr Vucic must decide which side he is on, Russia or the European Union, “because it is impossible and uncomfortable sitting on two chairs at the same time”.

“He shouldn’t have a big dilemma,” Grlic-Radman said, saying that Vucic can remain Moscow’s ally but “malign” Russian influence that could undermine the stability of the Western Balkans will not be allowed.

The populist leader and other Serbian officials reacted with anger.

“The Croatian minister not only brutally interferes in the internal affairs of Serbia, but as usual he lies and insults the Serbian people and threatens its citizens,” Vucic said on Instagram.

“Grlic-Radman is right about one thing, maybe I am someone’s satellite … but I have never been anyone’s servant, which cannot be said for Grlic-Radman.”

In its protest note, the Serbian foreign ministry said that it expects that in the future, Croatian officials “will refrain from statements that represent interference in the internal affairs of Serbia, and will lead a policy of reconciliation and good-neighbourly relations between the two states.”

Email link

Some 20 European leaders will gather in Paris on Monday to send Russian president Vladimir Putin a message of European resolve on Ukraine and counter the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia is bound to win a war now entering its third year, France said.

French president Emmanuel Macron has invited his European counterparts to the Elysee palace for a working meeting announced at short notice because of what his advisers say is an escalation in Russian aggression over the past few weeks.

“We want to send Putin a very clear message, that he won’t win in Ukraine,” a presidential adviser told reporters in a briefing. “Our goal is to crush this idea he wants us to believe that he would be somehow winning.”

Email link

31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since Russia invaded, Zelenskiy says – video

Email link

Russian forces will attempt to conduct another offensive in Ukraine in late May or summer, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday.

“We will prepare for their assault. Their assault that began on 8 October has not brought any results, I think,” Zelenskiy told a news conference.

Email link

Ukraine has a “clear” plan for a new counteroffensive against Russian forces, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday, adding that he could not disclose details publicly.

Zelenskiy told a news conference in the capital Kyiv that troop rotations were critically important for the war effort and that Ukraine needed to better prepare its reserve forces.

Email link

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that Ukraine had reached the hardest stage for maintaining unity which was crucial for the war effort against Russia.

“Now is the most difficult moment for our unity, and if we all fall apart, from the outside and God forbid inside, then this will be the weakest moment. It has not happened yet,” the Ukrainian leader told a news conference in Kyiv.

Email link

Zelenskiy says 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since Russia invaded

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion two years ago, giving the first official figure for more than a year.

Zelenskiy told a news conference in Kyiv that he could not disclose the number of wounded because it would help Russian military planning, Reuters reported.

“31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in this war. Not 300,000, not 150,000 … Putin is lying there … But nevertheless, this is a big loss for us.”

Ukraine has not put a number to its military losses since the end of 2022, when presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the invasion.

Russia does not disclose military losses, which it regards as secret.

Email link

Summary of the day

Rachel Hall

Rachel Hall

Here are all the key developments in the Ukraine-Russia war so far today:

I’m handing over to my colleague, Tom Ambrose, who will keep you updated – thanks for following.

Email link

President Zelenskiy hopes to present peace plan to Russia in spring

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is speaking at the Ukraine Year 2024 conference held today to coincide with two years since Russia’s invasion.

The key lines so far are:

  • He hopes a peace summit will take place in Switzerland in the spring

  • Russia will be presented with a peace plan prepared by Ukraine and its partners in advance of the summit

  • Kyiv’s victory depends on western support

  • He feels positive about the supply of long-range missiles from partners

  • He is certain US congress will approve aid for Ukraine – “they know that we need support within a month,” he said

  • It’s important to maintain unity with Poland, but Ukraine will defend its businesses

  • Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed in occupied territories, but disclosing exact numbers would benefit Russia

  • 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, and many more wounded

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during “Ukraine Year 2024” conference. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Email link

Updated at 

Ukrainian authorities uncovered 47 Russian spy networks operating inside the country last year, a senior security official said on Sunday.

Vasyl Maliuk, head of the Security Service of Ukraine, made the remark during a televised conference in Kyiv, adding that more than 2,000 suspected “traitors” have been arrested since Moscow’s full-scale invasion began.

Email link

For Ukraine to retake territory occupied by Russia, the United States needs to deliver the aid package that passed by massive bipartisan vote in the Senate, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has told NBC News.

Speaking on the Meet the Press show, he said:

Of course, Ukraine can win. Of course, Ukraine has already succeeded, militarily, in one of the most profound objectives it had, which was to keep the country from falling into Russian hands. It has already done that. And Ukraine can go further in retaking territory that Russia has occupied, ensuring Russia fails, and ensuring Ukraine prevails.

But it can only so, if it has the tools that it needs. And that is why the United States needs to deliver the aid package that passed on a massive bipartisan vote in the Senate. The House needs to step up and pass that bill.

Well, it comes down to basic arithmetic. We need money to be able to provide the weapons to Ukraine. We don’t have the money. Only Congress can provide the money. So that’s the reality. And that’s why the urgency of Congress passing this bill is so profound.

And it’s why this ultimately comes down to a simple decision from one man, Speaker Johnson. If there were an up or down vote in the House, this would pass on a bipartisan basis. So Speaker Johnson needs to decide, will he allow that vote to go forward?

If he does, Ukraine will get what he needs. If he doesn’t, then the United States will not have the resources necessary to give Ukraine the kinds of tools and capacities that it needs. That’s what this comes down to.

Email link

Updated at 

Some 160 tons of Ukrainian grain was destroyed at a Polish railway station in an act of “impunity and irresponsibility”, a senior Ukrainian official has said.

Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov posted on X along with photos of mounds of grain spilled out from train wagons.

These pictures show 160 tons of destroyed Ukrainian grain. The grain was in transit to the port of Gdansk and then to other countries. The fourth case of vandalism at Polish railway stations. The fourth case of impunity and irresponsibility.

These pictures show 160 tons of destroyed Ukrainian grain. The grain was in transit to the port of Gdansk and then to other countries.

The fourth case of vandalism at Polish railway stations. The fourth case of impunity and irresponsibility.

How long will the government and… pic.twitter.com/fMVdtBgl3i

— Oleksandr Kubrakov (@OlKubrakov) February 25, 2024

AFP has more detail on the background:

Polish farmers blocked a major highway into Germany in the latest such protest against EU regulations and taxes, including what they view as unfair competition from Ukraine’s cheaper produce.

Farmers across Europe have been protesting for weeks over what they say are excessively restrictive environmental rules, competition from cheap imports from outside the European Union and low incomes.

On Sunday, farmers from Poland blocked the A2 motorway near Slubice, in the east on the border with Germany.

On Monday, EU agriculture ministers are due to meet in Brussels to discuss new European Commission proposals aiming to change regulations at the heart of the discontent, for example reducing the number of checks on produce.

The farmers also blocked crossing points at Poland’s border with non-EU member Ukraine border to denounce what they say is unfair competition from their war-torn neighbour’s cheaper produce.

On Friday, Polish officials snubbed a delegation led by Ukraine’s prime minister seeking to resolve tensions caused by weeks-long Polish farmer protests at the shared border.

Polish authorities said they had never agreed to a border meeting over the demonstrations, which Ukraine says threaten its exports and are holding up deliveries of crucial weapons for its war against Russia, now entering its third year.

Email link

Updated at 

Andriy Yermak, President Zelenskiy’s chief of staff, today said that Russia could be invited to a peace summit if the Kremlin “want[s] to genuinely end this war”.

Yermak suggested that a future meeting in Switzerland to discuss a peace deal could include Russia at some point.

There can be a situation in which we together invite representatives of the Russian Federation, where they will be presented with the plan in case whoever is representing the aggressor country at that time will want to genuinely end this war and return to a just peace.

Ukraine has maintained that a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory would be a requirement before any talks could begin.

Russia has previously labelled Ukraine peace proposals as “absurd”.

Email link

Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, toured front-line combat posts with defence minister Rustan Umerov on Sunday, Associated Press reports:

They heard from front-line troops and “thoroughly analysed” the battlefield situation on their visit, Syrskyi said in a Telegram update. He did not specify where exactly he and Umerov went, but said that “the situation is difficult” for Ukrainian troops and “needs constant control” along many stretches of the front.

Ukraine has suffered setbacks on the battlefield, having lost the strategic eastern city of Avdiivka following intense battles this month, and as military aid for Kyiv hangs in the balance in the US Congress.

Syrskyi earlier this month replaced Ukraine’s top military commander, Valerii Zaluzhny, in the most significant shakeup of the top brass since the start of the full-scale war, after a long-expected counteroffensive last summer failed to produce major breakthroughs. Russia still controls roughly a quarter of the country.

Russian shelling and rocket strikes on Sunday continued to pummel Ukraine’s south and east, as local Ukrainian officials reported that at least two civilians were killed and a further eight suffered wounds in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson provinces.

Email link

Summary

Rachel Hall

Rachel Hall

Here are all the key developments from the last few hours in Ukraine:

Email link

Updated at 

Pope Francis has called for a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine that would lead to a just and lasting peace.

Pope Francis said during his weekly Angelus message:

So many victims, wounded, destruction, anguish, and tears in a period that is becoming terribly long and whose end is not in sight. It is a war that not only devastates that region but also unleashes global waves of hate and fear”, Pope Francis said during his weekly Angelus message.

I plead for that little bit of humanity to be found to create the conditions for a diplomatic solution in search of a just and lasting peace.

Email link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *