Russia has suffered 70,000 to 80,000 casualties — troops killed or wounded in action — since the start of the war, a US official said.
The United States has announced a new round of military and financial aid to Ukraine as Kiev battles Russian forces in the east and south of the country.
The Pentagon announced $1 billion in military aid on Monday, and separately the World Bank said it was providing $4.5 billion in budget support to the Ukrainian government funded by the US government.
The new weapons package – the 18th of its kind since the start of the war in February – includes high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), mortar and artillery ammunition, Javelin anti-tank missile systems, explosives and demolition equipment.
“As we have made clear at every level of this government, we are determined to continue to provide security for Ukraine as they face the unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Russia,” said Colin Kahl, Deputy Minister of Policy of the United Nations. US Department of Defense, told reporters Monday.
The release of aid comes from the more than $40 billion that the US Congress allocated earlier this year for aid to Ukraine.
Moscow has previously accused Washington of adding “fuel to the fire” of the conflict by supplying Ukraine with weapons and long-range missiles.
Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24 after a months-long standoff in which Moscow mustered troops near Ukraine’s borders when Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded an end to NATO’s expansion into former Soviet republics.
But in recent months, Moscow has scaled back its war targets and shifted its military efforts to the eastern Donbas region and coastal cities in the south after failing to take the Ukrainian capital.
Kahl stressed on Monday that Moscow has not achieved any of Putin’s “overall” goals, noting that Russia has failed to implement regime change or take Kiev.
“She [Russian forces] have made some incremental gains in the east, although not very much in recent weeks,” Kahl said. “But that has cost the Russian military extraordinary costs, because of how well the Ukrainian military has performed and all the aid the Ukrainian military has received.”
Russian troops have suffered about 70,000 to 80,000 casualties — a combination of troops killed or wounded in action — “in less than six months,” Kahl added.
“The war is the most intense conventional conflict in Europe since World War II, but the … Ukrainians have many advantages, not least their will to fight,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the World Bank said the $4.5 billion in new aid to Kiev, funded by a US grant, “will help support the government’s administrative and service capacity to perform core functions at the national and regional levels.”
“Ukraine needs continued government services, including health, education and social protection to prevent further deterioration of living conditions and poverty,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement.
“We are grateful to the United States and our partners for their continued support through our prompt support mechanisms and for the generous grant that will greatly support the Ukrainian people.”