Kyiv, Ukraine – Up to 200 Ukrainian soldiers are killed daily in Russia’s military offensive, according to a Defense Ministry adviser UkraineThe President – and only more and more advanced Western weapons will repel the Russian offensive, reduce losses and force Moscow to the negotiating table.
Mikhailo Podolak told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Thursday that the daily loss of 100-200 Ukrainian soldiers was the result of the “total lack of parity” between Ukraine and Russia, which “has largely thrown everything non-nuclear to the fore” in its attempt to advance in the Eastern Donbass region, Ukraine and beyond.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently put the daily death toll at up to 100, but Podolak said it had risen. Ukrainian officials pointed to the mounting losses to underscore their demand for more Western weapons, which were crucial to the country’s unexpected success in fending off larger and better-equipped Russian forces.
After an unsuccessful attempt to take control of Kyiv in the early days of the war, Russia shifted its focus to the Donbass region of its coal mines and factories. But his progress there was sluggish.
The delivery of the latest artillery systems will not only reduce the death toll in Ukraine, Podolyak said, but will help its forces regain the captured territories.
“There is something really important that our partners need to understand, and that is until Russia suffers a serious military defeat, and no form of dialogue will be possible, and they will continue to try to take over parts of our country,” he said. .
Podolak also addressed Western concerns that Western missile launchers in the hands of Ukrainian forces could be used to strike targets inside Russia and possibly escalate the conflict into a broader conflagration, saying that “would not happen.”
Hostilities continued in Donbass on Friday, with a Ukrainian governor saying troops were fighting “for every house and every street” in Severodonetsk, which has been the center of recent clashes.
Sievierodonetsk is located in the last enclave of the Luhansk region not yet claimed by Russia.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Heidi told The Associated Press that Ukrainian forces are retaining control of the industrial zone on the outskirts of the city and some other sections, and the hard fighting continues piece by piece.
Zelensky said late Thursday that while the situation in Donbass is stable, Ukrainian forces have made some advances in the Zaporizhzhya region in the south, where Ukrainian forces have managed to “spoil the plans of the occupiers.” He did not give details.
Britain calls for the trial of its citizens, “the Levant”
The British government said Russia should take responsibility for the “show trial” of two Britons and a Moroccan who were sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.
Britons Aiden Aslin, Sean Benner and Moroccan Ibrahim Saadoun were convicted by a court run by the pro-Moscow separatist authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, which is not internationally recognized.
The separatist authorities argued that the men were “mercenaries” and were not entitled to the usual protections afforded to prisoners of war.
The families of Aslin and Benner said the two men had been members of the Ukrainian military for a long time. Saadoun’s father told a Moroccan online newspaper that his son is not a mercenary and that he holds Ukrainian citizenship.
Government Minister Robin Walker said on Friday it was an “unlawful court in a puppet government” but that the UK would use “all diplomatic channels to prove that these are prisoners of war and should be treated accordingly”.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is scheduled to speak to her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba later on Friday about the issue. The UK has not announced any plans to speak to Russian officials – it does not recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic and will not formally contact the authorities there.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ministry had not yet received any specific appeals about the men from Britain and as such, “we can come to an unequivocal conclusion that so far the fate of these citizens has not been of interest to London.”
Karmanau contributed from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press writers Jill Lawless in London and Jamie Keaton in Geneva contributed.
Follow the Associated Press’ coverage of the Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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