Up to 200are killed every day in the Russian military onslaught, according to an adviser to the Ukrainian president – and only increasingly advanced Western weaponry will roll back the Russian offensive, reduce casualties and force Moscow to the negotiating table.
Mykhailo Podolyak told the BBC in an interview aired on Thursday that the daily loss of 100 to 200 Ukrainian soldiers is the result of a “complete lack of parity” between Ukraine and Russia, which “threw just about everything what is not nuclear at the front”. ” in its attempt to advance in the eastern region of Donbass in Ukraine and beyond.
Recently Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put the death toll at 100, but Podolyak said it had risen. Ukrainian officials pointed to the mounting casualties to underscore their demand for more Western weapons, which have been key to the country’s unexpected success in holding back larger and better-equipped Russian forces.
After a failed attempt to invade Kyiv in the early days of the war, Russia shifted its focus to the Donbas region of coal mines and factories. But his progress there was laborious.
Podolyak said the delivery of state-of-the-art artillery systems would not only reduce the death toll in Ukraine, but also help his forces recover seized territory.
“There is something really important that our partners need to understand, and that is until Russia suffers a serious military defeat, no form of dialogue will be possible, and they will continue to be able to try to take parts of our country,” he said. .
Podolyak also spoke of Western fears that Western rocket launchers in the hands of Ukrainian forces could be used to strike targets inside Russia and potentially escalate the conflict into a wider conflagration, saying “that won’t happen. not”.
The drudgery in Donbass continued on Friday, with a Ukrainian governor saying forces were fighting “for every house and every street” in Sievierodonetsk, the recent focus of the clashes.
Sievierodonetsk is in the last pocket of the Luhansk region which has not yet been claimed by Russia.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai told The Associated Press that Ukrainian forces retain control of the industrial zone on the outskirts of the city and some other sections, and the arduous block-by-block fighting continues.
Zelenskyy said Thursday evening that while the situation in Donbass is static, Ukrainian forces have made progress in the Zaporizhzhia region in the south, where Ukrainian troops may have “messed up the plans of the occupiers”. He gave no details.
Britain calls trial of its citizens a ‘sham’
The UK government has said Russia must take responsibility for the ‘mock trial’ of two Britons and a Moroccan who werein Ukraine.
Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun were convicted by a court run by pro-Moscow separatist authorities from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, which is not internationally recognised.
Separatist authorities argued the men were “mercenaries” not entitled to the usual protections given to prisoners of war.
The families of Aslin and Pinner said both men were longtime members of the Ukrainian military. Saadoun’s father told an online Moroccan newspaper that his son was not a mercenary and had Ukrainian nationality.
Government Minister Robin Walker said on Friday it was “an illegal tribunal in a fictitious government”, but that the UK would use “all diplomatic channels to argue that this is prisoners of war who should be treated accordingly”.
Foreign Minister Liz Truss spoke by telephone with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, and tweeted only the phrases were a “flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention”.
“The UK continues to support Ukraine against Putin’s barbaric invasion,” Truss tweeted.
The UK has announced no plans to speak to Russian officials – and it does not recognize the self-declared republic of Donetsk and will not officially contact authorities there.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ministry had so far not received any specific calls regarding the men from Britain and as such “we can conclude without ambiguity that until now the fate of these citizens was of no interest to London”.
Last month, CBS News correspondent Debora Patta met with some of the American volunteers who wereget out of the war.
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