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Shoigu Says 125K Ukrainian Troops Killed in Counteroffensive

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Russian Defense Ministry

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that Ukraine had lost over 125,000 troops since launching its counteroffensive in June, as well as 16,000 units of “various weapons.”

Total mobilization in Ukraine, the supply of Western weapons, and the introduction of the Ukrainian command's strategic reserves into battle did not alter the situation on the battlefield,” Shoigu said at a briefing. 

"Our military personnel are acting competently and decisively, occupying more advantageous positions and expanding zones of their control in all directions,” he added.

Russia’s Defense Minister did not reveal Moscow’s losses over the same six-month period, during which Kyiv waged an ambitious counteroffensive that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has since said failed to produce the “desired results” due to shortages of weapons and ground forces.

According to the independent news outlet Mediazona, the Russian military's verifiable death toll in Ukraine now stands at more than 37,000.

Shoigu also noted that Russia’s armed forces had made progress on the front line in Ukraine. 

“We will continue to conduct active defense and increase the combat potential of the armed forces,” he said.

Earlier this week Kyiv said that Russian forces had "considerably increased" their operations in the eastern Ukraine, but that its forces were holding on.

Fighting has remained intense in the industrial town of Adviika, which is the latest major flashpoint of the war. 

Russia launched a renewed bid to capture the war-battered town in October, and analysts suggest Moscow's forces have made incremental gains, though at an enormous human cost.

AFP contributed to this reporting.

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