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Russia Defence Ministry Issues First Figures Of Russian Soldier Fatalities Since Beginning Of Invasion

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Russia Defence Ministry Issues First Figures Of Russian Soldier Fatalities Since Beginning Of Invasion

As varying reports emerge surrounding the number of casualties seen since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Moscow has given its first figures.

Russia's defence ministry claims 498 Russian soldiers have been killed, and 1,597 injured, since the invasion of Ukraine began last week, February 24.

The claim is dramatically different to Ukraine's assessment, which claims the figure of Russian troops killed is 5,840.

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Moscow also claims more than 2,870 Ukrainian military personnel had been killed, BBC News reports, though Kyiv has not given any figures.

Missile strikes hit central Kharkiv (Alamy)
Missile strikes hit central Kharkiv (Alamy)

Though Russia has admitted casualties before, this marks the first time the defence ministry has put a number to it. Spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Defence, Major General Igor Konashenkov, reportedly rejected claims of further losses, calling it 'disinformation', Sky News reports, adding that families of those killed are receiving assistance.

Konashenkov also rejected claims that conscripts and cadets have been involved the 'special military operation'.

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Meanwhile, Ukraine's presidential adviser has said hundreds of Russian soldiers, some of whom are senior officers, have been taken prisoner in Ukraine, Sky News reports.

The official figures are yet to be independently verified, thought the UK Ministry of Defence believes the Russian forces have suffered heavy losses.

A large number of civilians have also been killed in the fighting. Earlier today, March 2, emergency services in Ukraine said more than 2,000 civilians and 10 emergency services personnel had died so far.

Damage caused by a missile strike in central Kharkiv (Alamy)
Damage caused by a missile strike in central Kharkiv (Alamy)
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Today alone, 21 people reportedly died and 112 were injured as a result of intense shelling in Kharkiv.

The mayor of the city, Igor Terekhov, told BBC News the situation in Kharkiv is 'very dangerous' and is seeing a lot of casualties. '[Russia] threw against Kharkiv all the imaginable forces and a colossal number of tanks are approaching Kharkiv,' he said, adding that the attack 'never stops'.

'The city of Kharkiv will hold and today Kharkiv is unified like never before. The mood in the city is serious and everybody is focused, but the city is united and will stand-fast,' Terekhov said.

The next round of peace talks are set to take place tomorrow morning at the Polish-Belarusian border, and a ceasefire is expected to be discussed. According to Russian officials, per BBC News, Russian troops are providing a security corridor for Ukrainian delegates.

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If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, World News

Charlie Cocksedge
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