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Ukraine updates: Russia has lost 46,550 troops, Kyiv says

August 27, 2022

Ukraine said Moscow's forces have lost nearly 2,000 tanks, 1,000 artillery systems and hundreds of drones since the invasion began. Russia says the war will continue even if Kyiv drops NATO ambition. Follow DW for more.

The funeral of a Russian Army paratrooper at a cemetery in Krasnoyarsk on March 18, 2022
Both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries are counting the human cost of the six-month warImage: Andrei Samsonov/TASS/imago images

Ukraine on Saturday said 46,550 Russian soldiers have died in the first six months of the conflict.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Facebook that an additional 250 Russian troops had been killed on Friday alone.

DW is unable to verify the figures, but they appear to chime with estimates from Britain's Defense Minister Ben Wallace who told the BBC this week that Russian losses amounted to 80,000 when combining deaths, injuries and desertions.

This compares to 15,000 thousand they lost in a decade in Afghanistan, Wallace said.

The New York Times estimated this week that as many as 25,000 Russian troops have been killed, versus about 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

In its latest update, Ukraine's military added that Russia had also lost 1,939 tanks, 1045 artillery systems, 836 drones, and 3,165 vehicles since February 24.

The United Nations this week said it had been able to confirm the deaths of 5,587 civilians in Ukraine, adding that the real toll was likely much higher.

Here's a roundup of some of the other key developments regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine on August 27.

How to see through Russia's war propaganda

Ukrainian sailors allowed to leave country with permit

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that sailors will be allowed to leave Ukraine if they receive approval from their local military administrative body.

Shmyhal said that the change would cover male crew members of sea and river vessels. Ukrainian men aged 18-60 have largely been barred from leaving the country under martial law since the start of the invasion.

It will also include students undertaking training aboard ships, he said.

The move is likely to ease a shortage of sailors able to man ships used for grain exports out of Ukraine.

Russia fires on towns near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant — Dnipropetrovsk Governor

Russian forces fired missiles and artillery on towns near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Dnipropetrovsk regional Governor Valentyn Reeznichenko said.

The Ukrainian-held southern Dnipropetrovsk towns of Nikopol and Marhanets lie just across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The plant and areas surrounding it, including the city of Enerhodar, have been occupied by Russian forces since March.

Reznichko said that the two towns were hit by grad missiles and artillery shells.

Russia 'again' shelling Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant — Energoatom

Ukraine's state nuclear operator Energoatom said that Russia had again shelled the Zaporizhzhia power plant in southern Ukraine.

"Over the last (24 hours), Russian troops again shelled the grounds of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The damage is currently being ascertained," Energoatom wrote in a statement on Telegram.

"As a result of periodic shelling, the infrastructure of the station has been damaged, there are risks of hydrogen leakage and sputtering of radioactive substances, and the fire hazard is high," it added.

Meanwhile, Russia's defense ministry accused Ukraine of shelling the plant. Kyiv and Moscow have also accused each other of previous instances of shelling.

A Russian defense ministry spokesperson said during a Saturday briefing that the radiation situation at the plant "remains normal."

Zelenskyy: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on 'brink of disaster'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of a potential disaster at the besieged Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, after a power outage forced an emergency shutdown of two of the plant's reactors. 

"I want to stress that the situation remains very risky and dangerous," he said in his nightly video address. "Any repetition ... will once again bring the power plant to the brink of disaster."

On Thursday, a local blackout knocked out the power supply to the plant, and a serious accident was only avoided due to the emergency power supply kicking in.

Both reactor blocks were then shut down in an emergency procedure.

The power supply was restored to both of the reactors on Friday, Ukrainian officials said.

Both sides have blamed each other's shelling for the outage.

Zelenskyy repeated his call for a team of international experts to inspect the plant and for the Russian troops occupying the facility to leave.

Russian troops have occupied the plant since shortly after the invasion began. Renewed fighting broke out earlier this month, sparking fears of a nuclear catastrophe.

Ukraine warns of leak risk at Zaporizhzhia power plant: Mathias Bölinger from Kyiv

Medvedev: Russia won't withdraw even if Kyiv drops NATO ambition

Moscow will not stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounces its aspiration to join NATO, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

"Renouncing its participation in the North Atlantic alliance is now vital, but it is already insufficient in order to establish peace," former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told France's LCI television.

Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said Moscow was prepared to hold talks with Ukraine's Zelenskyy subject to certain conditions, according to quotes reported by Russian news agencies.

"This (talks) will depend on how events unfold. We were ready before to meet [Zelenskyy]," he added.

Russia and Ukraine held several rounds of talks after the invasion began, but they made no progress and there are few prospects for a resumption.

Russia, Medvedev said, would continue the campaign until its goals had been achieved.

Putin says he wants to "denazify" Ukraine, which Kyiv and the West say is a baseless pretext for a war of conquest.

Funeral in Ukraine’s Chaplyne

UK: Russia intensifies attacks in parts of eastern Ukraine

Russia has likely stepped up attacks along the Donetsk sector of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region over the last five days, Britain's Defense Minister has said.

Intense fighting near the towns of Siversk and Bakhmut, north of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, has been reported the ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

"There is a realistic possibility that Russia has increased its efforts in the Donbas in an attempt to draw in or fix additional Ukrainian units, amid speculation that Ukraine is planning a major counter-offensive," the update added.

More on the war in Ukraine

Russia's disinformation campaign on the conflict in Arabic is winning over the Middle East.A report published this week reveals how Russia is using cluster bombs 'extensively' in Ukraine. Also, Ukraine's central bank is printing money to pay soldiers' salaries, spiking the threat of runaway or hyperinflation.

mm/kb (AFP, dpa, Reuters,)