Zelensky reveals the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed and guarantees that a new counteroffensive is already planned

It was the first official estimate of the number of Ukrainian deaths in more than a year, but the Ukrainian leader did not want to give the number of wounded for fear the information would be useful to Moscow.

Since February 24, 2022, at a press conference, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died since Russia invaded their country. This is the first official tally of the Ukrainian death toll in more than a year.

“That's a lot for us,” he said, rejecting estimates that pointed to around 300,000 deaths in Ukraine. ‚ÄúThirty-one thousand Ukrainian soldiers died in this war. Not 300 thousand or 150 thousand as Putin and his circle of liars say. But each of these losses is a big loss for us”, he assured.

Although high, the figure is far less than the 180,000 Russian soldiers, Zelensky says, who lost their lives in the war and half a million wounded in the fighting. Even so, the Head of State guaranteed it “Tens of thousands of civilians” died or were killed after being tortured in Russian-occupied territories.

At a press conference, the Ukrainian leader did not want to give the number of casualties in the conflict, as he believed it would be useful information for Russian military planning.

It was the first public estimate of the Ukrainian death toll since adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said 13,000 soldiers had died by the end of 2022.

The Ukrainian president also spoke of unity around the Ukrainian cause, which he says has reached its “most difficult moment” since the war began. Volodymyr Zelensky says that Ukraine faces strong challenges not only externally, but also internally. “Now is a very difficult moment for our unity, if we all fall out, God forbid inside, this will be a weak moment. It has not happened yet,” the Ukrainian leader told reporters in Kiev. .

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Zelensky describes 2022 as Ukraine's “year of survival” and 2023 as “the year of resistance.” However, the president believes that 2024 will become a “turning year” for Ukraine. “We need all this this year, courage to survive and resilience. This will determine how the war ends,” he stressed.

Despite signals from Western partners over the past few months, Zelensky says he hopes the US House of Representatives will approve a new military aid package and that Western partners will send long-range weapons to Ukraine. He said he is sure that the vote will be positive.

“The question of whether Ukraine will lose, the situation will be very difficult and there will be a large number of casualties depends on you, our partners, the Western world. If we are strong, armed, we will not lose this war,” said Volodymyr Zelensky.

To do this, it is necessary to regain land and the Ukrainian leader guarantees that there is already a “clear” plan to recapture territories occupied by Russian forces. Despite everything, it does not go into detail. Zelenskiy stressed to reporters that troop rotation is critical to the war effort and that Ukraine needs to better prepare its reserves.

At the same time, Russian forces are preparing for new offensive operations. Volodymyr Zelenskyi explains that Ukrainian forces hope that a new Russian offensive will begin in May or early summer. “We will have difficult times in the coming months…we will face several waves of political and financial pressures”, he added. “Russia will prepare its counteroffensive if possible in early summer or late May.”

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But Zelensky guarantees that Ukraine will do everything to “be ready for war,” stressing that so far, Russian aggression has not always worked.

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