While emphasis has shifted to forthcoming peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on Monday, this is the first time Moscow has acknowledged civilian fatalities since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014.
It is the first time the Kremlin has publicly acknowledged that Russian troops have been killed in action in Ukraine since President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of the neighbouring country on Wednesday. The Kremlin has previously denied that Russian troops have been killed in action in Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, there have been deaths and injuries among our comrades,” Igor Konashenkova, a spokesman for Russia’s military ministry, said in a Sunday speech broadcast on Russian state television. There were no particular statistics provided by the spokesman, but he did state that Ukrainian troops had suffered “many” more losses than the Russians on the battlefield.
The Ukrainian government, on the other hand, claims that over 3,500 Russian troops have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in the country.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said on Facebook on Sunday that 352 civilians, including 14 children, had been killed and 1684 people, including 116 children, had been wounded in the country’s conflict with Russia. As the death toll in Ukraine continues to increase as a result of Russia’s unprovoked invasion, the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that the two sides will meet somewhere near the Belarusian border. The meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Monday, comes after Zelensky said that he would accept to discuss but would not do so on Belarusian soil, which Russia has been exploiting to conduct operations against his country in recent months.
“We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions near the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River,” Zelensky said in a statement. “We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions near the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River.”
A subsequent video speech from him stated: “I do not have much confidence in the result of this meeting, but I will allow them to try.” So that, years hence, not a single Ukrainian person would have any question that I, as president, attempted to end the conflict while there was even a little, but still there, prospect of success.”
Russia had previously said that they had sent a negotiating team to Belarus in order to await Zelensky’s consent. As part of his proposal, Zelensky argued that Israel may serve as a neutral venue for badly needed dialogue between the two countries. “The prior night was difficult—more shelling, more bombardment of residential areas and civilian infrastructure,” Zelensky said on social media on Sunday. “The past night was difficult.” Soldiers from both the Russian and Ukrainian sides, as well as civilians from Ukraine, have been killed in the four-day-old battle.
The news of the talks came as it was revealed that President Vladimir Putin had placed his nuclear deterrent forces on high alert, blaming NATO leaders’ “aggressive statements,” according to the Associated Press. The talks took place at the same time as the announcement of President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert. The directive lays the path for Putin to deploy nuclear weapons, which, of course, would have catastrophic ramifications for the whole continent of Europe if carried out.
According to the A.P., Putin issued the order on Sunday, instructing his defence minister to place the nuclear deterrent forces under a “special regime of combat duty” until further notice. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in broadcast comments that “Western nations are not only conducting hostile acts against our country in the economic area, but senior officials from prominent NATO members have made harsh statements towards our country.”
According to Putin, “Senior officials of the leading NATO countries also allow aggressive statements against our country, and as a result, I order the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff [of the Russian Armed Forces] to transfer the Russian army’s deterrence forces to a special mode of combat duty.”
According to a senior U.S. military official on a conference call with reporters Sunday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin heard about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put his nuclear troops on high alert from Putin’s statement.
U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greeenfield said on CBS’ Face the Nation that President Putin is “continuing to escalate this conflict in a manner that is completely unacceptable,” and that the world must continue to denounce his actions “in the harshest possible way.” Our voices have been raised in unison with those of the Europeans and the rest of the world, informing him that he must quit his aggressive activities against Ukraine. And we will continue to utilise every available lever we have at our disposal, both here at the United Nations and across the globe, to bring his acts to light.
“I’m not surprised by this information,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, adding, “Putin has tried every means possible to actually put fear in the world in terms of his action, and it just means that we have to ramp up our efforts here at the United Nations and elsewhere to hold him accountable.”
According to President Putin, we’ve seen a pattern throughout this war in which he fabricates threats that do not exist in order to justify additional aggression—and the international community and the American people should see this situation through that lens.”
In his words, “This is all part of a pattern set by President Putin, and we’ll stand up for it.” “We have the power to protect ourselves, but we also have a responsibility to speak out what we’re witnessing here from President Putin.” The threats of Russian President Vladimir Putin are very real and should be taken seriously, according to a senior U.S. defence official who spoke to reporters on Sunday. However, it is not clear what Putin’s next moves will be, and officials are working to figure out what Putin’s next moves will be.
Despite the fact that “we have no reason to dispute the authenticity of this order,” a senior defence official believes that the manner in which it has presented itself is not yet totally obvious. The person went on to say that the United States is prepared to defend itself against any threats to its national security. “Being able to protect the country and making certain that our strategic deterrent is competent, viable, and ready at all times are always top priorities,” the source added. According to the source, the announcement comes as Russian troops continue their all-out attack on Ukraine, using around two-thirds of their available forces to far, according to an assessment by the United States.
According to the source, Russia has started to utilise “siege tactics” in Cherniv in a worrisome manner, putting citizens and civilian infrastructure at danger. Some Russian soldiers or saboteurs seem to be dressed in Ukrainian military uniforms in an effort to fool Ukrainians, but Ukrainian forces have been able to identify them, according to the official from the United States.
Some encouraging news came out on Saturday: some of Russia’s plans to launch an invasion against Ukraine are failing. Despite the fact that they have fired upwards of 320 missiles, the official said that some of them are having problems.
According to the source, Russian soldiers are still around 30 kilometres from Kyiv and are encountering gasoline and logistical shortages along the road, as well as other difficulties. It was said that “they just do not have a great deal of expertise taking on another country state at this level of complexity and magnitude.”