Moscow says 498 Russians killed in Ukraine since invasion started
Russia rejects reports of ‘incalculable losses’ and about the involvement of cadets or conscripts in the fighting.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence has said that 498 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine and 1,597 more sustained wounds, in the first report of casualties by Moscow since it launched an invasion on February 24.
Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov on Wednesday also rejected reports about “incalculable losses” among Russian forces as “disinformation.” He assured that families of those killed are receiving all necessary assistance.
Ukraine has said that the number of Russian troops killed is far higher. Moscow had previously admitted to losses but without giving any numbers.
Konashenkov said that neither conscripts nor cadets have been involved in the operation in Ukraine, dismissing media reports alleging otherwise. Russian independent organisations that help parents find their sons have told the AFP news agency that conscripts were taking part in the conflict, having been made to sign documents before crossing the border.
The spokesperson also said more than 2,870 Ukrainian troops have been killed and some 3,700 more sustained injuries, while 572 others have been captured by the Russians. Ukrainian officials have not yet commented on the claim and it could not be immediately verified.
On the other side, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said that more than 2,000 civilians have died, though it was impossible to verify that claim. The United Nations’ human rights office said on Thursday it had recorded the deaths of 136 civilians, including 13 children, in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion.