The Ukrainian military has lost more than 90,000 troops since its counteroffensive against Russian forces began in June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. With little territory gained, Kiev’s Western backers reportedly consider the operation a failure.
“Since June 4 alone, Ukrainian units have already lost over 90,000 people,” Putin told a plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, noting that this number includes both deaths and incapacitations.
Ukraine has also lost 557 tanks and almost 1,900 armored vehicles in the same timeframe, Putin added.
The counteroffensive began on June 4 with a series of Ukrainian advances along the frontline between Kherson and Donetsk. The operation quickly ran into trouble, however, as Ukrainian units advanced headlong through minefields to meet multiple layers of Russian trenches, tank traps, and gun emplacements. With no air support to cover the repeated Ukrainian assaults, Kiev’s troops were exposed to attacks by Russian artillery, helicopters, and drones.