U.S claims 20,000 Russians are killed in Ukraine war since December


WASHINGTON (Reuters) The White House estimated that Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties, including more than 20,000 dead, since December as it repelled heavy offensives by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. 

In a brutal war of attrition, the fiercest fighting has taken place in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russia struggles to besiege the city of Bakhmut in the face of stubborn Ukrainian defenses.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US estimates were based on newly declassified US intelligence agencies. He did not explain how his service obtained the number.

gene. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said in November that Russia had suffered more than 100,000 casualties in the war’s first eight months. New figures suggest that Russian casualties have accelerated dramatically in recent months.

Troops of the Russian Wagner mercenary group and others are fighting against Ukrainian military houses to gain control of the so-called “Road of Life” the last remaining road in the West and still Ukrainian. In hand, supplies and new troops play a vital role. Both sides have led the rise over the past few days.

According to Kirby, nearly half of those killed since December were Wagnerian troops, many of whom were prisoners released from prison who had taken part in the fighting in Russia. He said Wagner’s forces were “thrown into battle without adequate combat or combat training, combat leadership, or a sense of organizational command and control.”

The White House has repeatedly tried to highlight the human and weapon damage Bakhmut inflicted on Russia. But some analysts say taking Bakhmut under control could help Russia’s efforts to expand into the big cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in the Donetsk region.

Kirby notes that the Russian casualties in “this little town of Bakhmut” are the most significant of the battles during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge and Guadalcanal, the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front. The first large-scale Allied attack on Japan.

“That’s three times the number of Americans killed in action during World War II’s Guadalcanal operation, and in five months,” Kirby said.

Colonel General Ukrainian Army Commander Oleksandr Shirsky said Russia was making “maximum efforts” to capture Bakhmut, but so far failed.

“In parts of the city, the enemy was attacked by our troops and abandoned some positions,” he said.

Kirby declined to say how many Ukrainian troops were killed or wounded in the battle. Mily said in November that there were likely about 100,000 victims in Ukraine as well.