Putin’s losses grow even heavier as Kyiv says 5,700 invading troops have been killed and 200 captured while nearly 200 tanks and 850 armoured vehicles have been destroyed
- Ukraine claims its forces have inflicted heavy losses on advancing Russian units
- Russia has reportedly lost 5,710 personnel, along with 29 aircraft and 198 tanks
- Russian authorities meanwhile refused to release a death toll for their forces
- But they say it is far lower than the figures being touted by Ukrainian sources
- Russia’s invasion forces have stalled amid fierce resistance on the ground
- But Putin began a bombing campaign of Kyiv and Kharkiv yesterday, which has seen the civilian death toll rise significantly
- Click here for MailOnline’s liveblog with the latest updates on the Ukraine crisis
Ukrainian forces have inflicted heavy losses on advancing Russian forces as bitter fighting in Ukraine enters its sixth day, according to a spokesperson for the nation’s general staff.
Ukraine claimed that Russian forces have lost 5,710 personnel in the fighting thus far, along with 29 aircraft, 198 tanks and 846 armoured vehicles which were either destroyed or significantly damaged – though these figures cannot be verified.
Moscow acknowledged for the first time yesterday that its forces had incurred losses amid the invasion but have refused to give concrete figures, stating only that the numbers are far lower than those given by Ukraine.
Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russian forces had dealt significant damage to Ukrainian defences in kind.
‘A total of 311 tanks and other armoured military vehicles, 42 airplanes and helicopters, 51 multiple launch rocket systems, 147 field artillery weapons and mortars, and 263 specialised military vehicles have been destroyed,’ he said.
Russia’s invasion – which met with heavy defeat in its initial plan to seize key targets and infrastructure in precision strikes – entered a new phase yesterday, with the aim seemingly to surround and bombard cities such as Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol, Sumy and Kherson.
Ukrainian army units and civilian defence forces have put up fierce resistance and have stalled the Russian onslaught on the ground for now, prompting Putin to launch an indiscriminate bombing campaign of Ukraine’s two largest cities – Kyiv and Kharkiv.
The civilian death toll has increased significantly in the past two days since Russia began its bombardment, with Ukrainian authorities reporting 352 civilian deaths since the start of the invasion, including 14 children.
Ukrainian forces have inflicted heavy losses on advancing Russian forces as bitter fighting in Ukraine enters its sixth day, according to a spokesperson for the nation’s general staff (picture: Russian armoured vehicles stand destroyed or abandoned in the streets of Kharkiv)
Ukraine claimed that Russian forces have lost 5,710 personnel in the fighting thus far, along with 29 aircraft and 198 tanks which were either destroyed or significantly damaged, though these figures cannot be verified (pictured: a Ukrainian territorial defence fighter examines a destroyed Russian armoured vehicle)
A Ukrainian Territorial Defence fighter takes the automatic grenade launcher from a destroyed Russian infantry mobility vehicle GAZ Tigr amid conflict in Kharkiv
Ukrainian army units and civilian defence forces have put up fierce resistance and have stalled the Russian onslaught on the ground for now, prompting Putin to launch an indiscriminate bombing campaign of civilian targets in Ukraine’s two largest cities – Kyiv and Kharkiv (pictured: demolished buildings in northeast Kharkiv as a result of Russian shelling)
Russian authorities meanwhile acknowledged for the first time yesterday that their forces had incurred losses amid the invasion, but have refused to give any further details or concrete figures. Ukrainian forces have thus far successfully repelled Russian attacks on the ground (servicemen of Ukrainian Military Forces walk in the small town of Sievierodonetsk, Lugansk)
A comparison of Russian and Ukrainian military might suggests that Russia easily has enough bodies and firepower to succeed in their invasion. But Ukraine has called on all men between 18-60 to remain and fight, while the US and several EU countries have delivered a steady stream of weapons and equipment to its army
This image, posted by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, shows the square outside the administrative building covered in rubble following the rocket attack
The U.N. human rights office has put the civilian death toll in Ukraine at 136, including 13 children, since the start of the invasion, but warned the toll may be far higher.
The Geneva-based office said this morning that it has also recorded 400 civilians injured in the conflict, among them 26 children.
Many of the civilian deaths are thought to have come as a result of Russia’s bombardment of residential and administrative targets in Kyiv and Kharkiv in the past 48 hours.
The move has seen Putin accused of war crimes, after multiple reports of the use of cluster bombs on residential high-rises and non-military structures.
International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan confirmed yesterday that a probe will be launched into Russia’s bombing campaign: ‘I wish to announce that I have decided to proceed with opening an investigation into the situation in Ukraine, as rapidly as possible’.
‘I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine,’ he added.
It came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last night said there would ‘definitely be an international tribunal’ for what he described as a ‘violation of all conventions’ and added that ‘no one in the world will forgive [Putin] for killing peaceful Ukrainian people.’
The Kremlin meanwhile denied that the Russian military has used cluster munitions in Ukraine and insisted that the Russian forces only have struck military targets.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today that ‘the Russian troops don’t conduct any strikes against civilian infrastructure and residential areas.’
But Peskov’s claim contradicts abundant evidence of indiscriminate shelling of homes, schools, and hospitals across Ukraine.
Speaking in a conference call with reporters, he wouldn’t respond to questions about whether the Kremlin is happy with the pace of the offensive and wouldn’t comment on Russian military casualties.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also declared today that Russia ‘did not and does not have any land-based, short or medium-range missiles’, though he did not explicitly deny the widespread reports of Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian cities.
The bombing campaign began yesterday morning, with the most intense fire laid down on Kharkiv – Ukraine’s second city which is home to 1.5 million people and stands a mere 25 miles from the Russian border.
Bombs, shells and rockets began hailing down on the city from lunchtime, leaving at least 11 dead, including three children, with homes, offices and even a school reduced to rubble.
Harrowing images show the brutality of the Russian attacks in Ukraine. This citizen was caught in a rocket blast in Kharkiv on Monday and lost a leg
Kharkiv was struck by more Russian rockets on Tuesday morning, with one striking outside the civilian public administration building which was heavily damaged in the blast. The rocket can be seen a split second before it slams into the building, triggering a massive blast
The blast blew debris across the square outside the administrative building and demolished several parked cars
Rescue workers and medics are pictured close to the regional administration building in central Kharkiv, picking their way through the debris following the explosion
A military source told MailOnline that videos of the onslaught showed ‘cluster’ munitions had been used.
‘The BM-21 Grad is a multiple launch rocket system used for “area denial”, dropping cluster bombs on a concentrated area,’ the expert said.
‘It’s mainly used on enemy troops before an offensive. Used against civilians, it’s not only a war crime, but has only one purpose – to spread terror and alarm among the civilian population.’
But despite Russia’s ruthless bombing campaign and sustained ground assault, the Ukrainian army and its territorial defence forces have remained resolute.
Dozens of images and videos published on Monday showed Ukrainian forces parading defeated Russian soldiers who were captured as the remainder of their units retreated or were killed.
Ukraine has paraded captured Russian soldiers in dozens of online videos. Footage appeared on Facebook that showed a captured Russian soldier saying he did not come to the country ‘wanting to kill’
The body of a Russian serviceman is coated in snow next to a destroyed Russian military vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv
Servicemen from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic were captured by the Ukrainian military on Thursday, hours after Russia launched an invasion of the country
Footage posted online show tied up ‘demoralised and exhausted’ prisoners of war captured after they failed to break through defences in Kyiv and Kharkiv over the weekend.
Several of the videos were posted on a Telegram channel set up on Saturday by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry called ‘Find Your Own’.
Many Russian troops claimed that they believed they were conducting training exercises in the border regions and did not know they were being sent to invade Ukraine.
The Russian onslaught seems to have been slowed considerably, but there are fears that this lack of success on the ground will give rise to a prolonged bombing campaign designed to inflict maximum damage and beat Ukraine’s cities into submission.
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