Russia has lost up to 28,000 soldiers killed and wounded during three weeks of fighting in Ukraine, the US believes, as Vladimir Putin‘s invasion stalls ‘on all fronts’ but shelling of cities including Kyiv continues.
The Pentagon estimates at least 7,000 Russian troops have now died in the fighting while another 14,000 to 21,000 have been wounded – accounting for nearly a fifth of the estimated 150,000 men that Putin amassed on the border before giving the order to attack 21 days ago.
The staggering toll is roughly double NATO losses in Afghanistan over two decades of fighting, and roughly equal to US casualties in the 36-day battle of Iwo Jima – one of the bloodiest clashes in the Pacific during the Second World War. Losses are now so severe, US intelligence believes some Russian units cannot keep fighting.
That tallies with assessments by British intelligence, which said today that Russia’s invasion has stalled ‘on all fronts’ with ‘minimal progress on land, sea or air’ in the last 24 hours while continuing to ‘suffer heavy losses’.
But the bombardment of Ukrainian cities continues never-the-less, with Kyiv struck by missiles in the early hours – one of which was shot down, though wreckage still struck a 16-storey apartment block, killing one person and sparking fires which injured dozens of others.
Mariupol, the heavily besieged city in the south of Ukraine, also continued to come under heavy fire as city officials estimated that at least 2,400 people have now been killed there – though mayoral adviser Petro Andriushchenko said the true toll could be as high as 20,000 once cut-off areas have been searched for victims.