Ukrainian official says 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed in war

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Ukrainian official says 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed in war

KYIV, Ukraine - A top adviser to Ukraine s president cited by military chiefs as saying 10,000 to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the country's nine month struggle against Russia's invasion, a rare comment on such figures and far below estimates of Ukrainian casualties from Western leaders.

Russian forces continued to launch rocket attacks on infrastructure and airstrikes against Ukrainian troops along the contact line, the Ukrainian general staff said Friday. Moscow s military push focused on a dozen towns including Bakhmut and Avdiivka - key targets for Russia in the embattled east.

Late Thursday, Mykhailo Podolyak, top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, relayed new figures about Ukrainian soldiers killed in the battle, while noting that the number of injured troops was higher and civilian casualty counts were significant. We have official figures from the general staff, we have official figures from the top command, and they amount to between 10,000 and 12,500 -- 13,000 killed, Podolyak told Channel 24.

The Ukrainian military has not confirmed such figures, and it was a rare instance of a Ukrainian official providing such a count. The last time was in August, when the head of the armed forces said nearly 9,000 military personnel had been killed. In June, Podolyak said that up to 200 soldiers were dying each day, in some of the most intense fighting and bloodshed this year.

On Wednesday, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union's executive commission, said 100,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed before her office corrected her comments, calling them inaccurate and saying that the figure referred to both killed and wounded.

According to Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff last month, as many as 40,000 Ukrainian civilians and well over 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the war so far. He said that it was probably the same thing on the Ukrainian side. The UN human rights office, in its latest weekly update released Monday, said it had 6,655 civilians killed and 10,368 injured, but has acknowledged that its tally includes only casualties that it has confirmed and likely understates the actual toll.

The Ukrainian president's office reported on Friday that at least three civilians were killed and 16 wounded in Ukraine in the past 24 hours. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, office's deputy head, said on Telegram that Russian forces had attacked nine regions in the southeast of Ukraine using heavy artillery, rockets and aircraft.

Ukrainians have been bracing for freezing winter temperatures as Russia has recently hit infrastructure including power plants and electrical transformers, leaving many without heat, water and electricity.

Ukraine has faced a lot of Russian artillery fire and drone attacks since early October. Since Russian forces withdrew and Ukraine's army reclaimed the southern city almost three weeks ago, the shelling has been particularly intense in southern Kherson.

Three people were killed and seven injured in shelling on Thursday, Kherson s regional governor said on Friday. The Russian army hit residential areas of Kherson, part of which was without electricity after power was knocked out by Russian strikes Thursday.

Ukrainian governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Russian shelling has intensified significantly in the eastern Donetsk region. The Russian army is trying to encircle the key town of Bakhmut by capturing several surrounding villages and cutting off an important road.

Russian strikes targeted towns across the Dnieper River from the Russian-owned Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Officials said Russian shelling injured two women in northeastern Kharkiv province.