Kyiv: Active Phase War Over Before the End of April
The “active phase” of the war in Ukraine is expected to be over before the end of April, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksij Arestovich said. He deduces this from the apparent stalling of the Russian invasion that started a month ago.
According to Arestovich, the Russian troops are no longer making any territorial gains, and they have lost 40 percent of their men. The figures from Ukraine have not been independently verified. The Kremlin regularly reiterates that everything is going according to plan.
The Ukrainian military has released figures that the Russians lost more soldiers in 26 days of the war in Ukraine than in 10 years of war in Afghanistan (1979-1989). For example, approximately 15,600 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine since February 24. That is more than the Soviet Union’s recognized total losses in Afghanistan of 15,050 men.
The last time Russia released figures for killed soldiers was at the beginning of March. Then, nearly five hundred Russian soldiers were said to have died in “the special military operation”, and about 1500 were injured. On Sunday, the pro-government Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that 9,861 Russian soldiers were killed and more than 16,000 were wounded, according to the defence ministry. However, that information quickly disappeared. According to the newspaper, the message came from hackers, and the fake news was immediately removed.
In Ukraine, Russian troops have conquered land mainly in the south from Crimea and captured a major city, Kherson, and a small port, Berdyansk. In the north, the conquests seem to be limited to the capture of border strips north of the Kyiv – Chernihiv – Kharkiv line. In the eastern region of Donbas, the separatist militias with their Russian support seem to have made little territorial gains. They are also still not completely in control of their main target, the port city of Mariupol.