Advertisement

Zelensky says 31,000 Ukrainian troops killed in war with Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the 'Ukraine. Year 2024' Forum in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday. During the gathering he confirmed that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died in two-year battle against Russian invaders. Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the 'Ukraine. Year 2024' Forum in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sunday. During the gathering he confirmed that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died in two-year battle against Russian invaders. Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Some 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died defending the country in the two years since Russia launched its all-out invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed Sunday.

The Ukrainian leader delivered the figure while attending the "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum in Kyiv, in which the goals of the war effort and the development of the country's defense and security industries were discussed.

Advertisement

"Each person is a very big loss for us. Thirty-one thousand Ukrainian soldiers died in this war, not 300,000 or 150,000, or whatever Putin and his lying circle are saying," the president told reporters during a press conference at the forum. "It is very painful for us."

The comments marked the first time Zelensky has released a Ukrainian death toll figure since the beginning of the invasion -- the government has remained tight-lipped about the number of those killed since the earliest days of the conflict.

He also claimed that 180,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and 320,000 injured in the war so far, adding that tens of thousands of civilians have also died in Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia.

Advertisement

Zelensky gave the casualty estimates as the U.S. Congress is debating whether to approve a $66 billion Ukraine aid package proposed by President Joe Biden amid opposition by House Republicans.

The Senate earlier this month overwhelmingly passed the measure to support Ukraine's two-year fight to defend itself against Russia's unprovoked attack as well as billions of dollars to beef up U.S. weapons stockpiles.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, however, has vocally opposed the bill, saying it lacked measures to clamp down on the influx of asylum seekers at the southern U.S. border. The House eventually adjourned without a vote on it.

Despite the political disagreements, Zelensky on Sunday said there is "hope for the Congress.

"I am sure that it will be positive, otherwise I do not understand the world we are starting to live in. It is definitely different. That is why we are counting on the support of the Congress. They know that we need support within a month," he said.

Latest Headlines