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Ukraine official says as many as 13,000 soldiers have died since start of war

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Friends and family attend funeral services for Mark Bobrovytsky, 59, Halyna Bobrovytskyi, 59, and Maksym Bobrovytsky, 25, at a cemetery in Borodyanka, Ukriane on April 23. Ukraine said up to 13,000 of its soldiers have died during the Russian invasion. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
Friends and family attend funeral services for Mark Bobrovytsky, 59, Halyna Bobrovytskyi, 59, and Maksym Bobrovytsky, 25, at a cemetery in Borodyanka, Ukriane on April 23. Ukraine said up to 13,000 of its soldiers have died during the Russian invasion. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A top Ukrainian official said on Friday that as many as 13,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since the Russian invasion started in February, though others have put the figure much higher.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told local media that between official evaluations by the president and general staff indicated that between 10,000 and 13,000 troops had died defending the country against Russia.

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U.S. Gen. Mark Milley said last month, though, that about 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed along with another 100,000 Russian soldiers since the start of the war. On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appeared to back up Milley's figures in a statement before walking it back saying she believed that was the number killed and injured.

Podolyak said Zelensky will speak on the figures himself when "the right moment comes."

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On the battlefield, Kherson regional Gov. Yaroslav Yanushevych said Russian shelling killed three people and injured seven over the past 24 hours. He said strikes Moscow troops struck 42 times in the region.

Moscow-appointed officials in the southern Kherson region said they would begin evacuating some disabled people from Russian-controlled Kakhovka along the Dnieper River's eastern bank.

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Ukrainian officials said some Russian troops have started withdrawing from positions in Zaporizhzhia and started taking a census there.

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In response to U.S. President Joe Biden saying he would be willing to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin about ending the war, Kremlin officials said the Biden administration's refusal to recognize land it claimed it annexed in the war as part of Russia complicates such dialogue.

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