100 Days Into The War, Ukraine Has Become Russia's Quagmire
One hundred days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war has brought the world a near-daily drumbeat of gut-wrenching scenes: Civilian corpses in the streets of Bucha; a blown-up theater in Mariupol; the chaos at a Kramatorsk train station in the wake of a Russian missile strike.
Photo Insert: A satellite image documenting Russia's war crimes
Those images tell just a part of the overall picture of Europe’s worst armed conflict in decades.
Nobody really knows how many combatants or civilians have died, and claims of casualties by government officials — who may sometimes be exaggerating or lowballing their figures for public relations reasons — are all but impossible to verify, Jamey Keaten and Yuras Karmanau reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying in combat every day, with about 500 more wounded and tens of thousands of civilians have died due to Russian attacks.
And Moscow has released scant information about casualties among its forces and allies, and given no accounting of civilian deaths in areas under its control. In some places — such as the long-besieged city of Mariupol, potentially the war’s biggest killing field — Russian forces are accused of trying to cover up deaths and dumping bodies into mass graves.
In Mariupol alone, officials have reported over 21,000 civilian dead. Sievierodonetsk, a city in the eastern region of Luhansk that has become the focus of Russia’s offensive, has seen roughly 1,500 casualties, according to the mayor.
Russia’s last publicly released figures for its own forces came on March 25, when a general told state media that 1,351 soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded. Ukraine and Western observers say the real number is much higher: Zelenskyy said Thursday that more than 30,000 Russian servicemen have died — “more than the Soviet Union lost in 10 years of the war in Afghanistan.”
In late April, the British government estimated Russian losses at 15,000. An official estimated that some 40,000 Russian troops have been wounded. In Moscow-backed separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine, authorities have reported over 1,300 fighters lost and nearly 7,500 wounded in the Donetsk region, along with 477 dead civilians and nearly 2,400 wounded plus 29 civilians killed and 60 wounded in Luhansk.