The Ukrainian army Wednesday killed approximately 200 Russian soldiers and destroyed more than a dozen Russian tanks and armored vehicles amid the war, now in its eighth month.
The Russian military’s death toll is now estimated to be at 61,000, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF). The Russian army suffered the biggest losses Wednesday in the Kramatorsk and Kryvyi Rih directions.
In addition to the deaths, the Ukrainian forces also destroyed 11 Russian tanks and 20 combat armored vehicles Wednesday. The Russians have now lost a total of 2,435 tanks and 5,038 armored vehicles since the war began in February, according to the Ukrainian authorities.
Russia’s losses come as President Vladimir Putin signed into law measures that claim to annex four Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia – into the Russian Federation despite it being a violation of international law. The Kremlin, however, said it was the will of Ukrainians living in occupied regions to belong to Russia.
The Kremlin did not specify the borders of the territories it is annexing, with Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that certain parts of Ukraine are still to be returned to Russia.
“Certain territories will be reclaimed, and we will keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters, as quoted by AP News. He did not specify which Ukrainian territories Russia is eyeing to “reclaim.”
Russia continues to struggle with manpower on the frontline. In late September, Putin ordered the partial mobilization of the Russian population, calling up 300,000 individuals with combat experience to join the war against Ukraine.
Following Putin’s announcement, flights out of Russia surged, with tickets to Istanbul or Dubai quickly selling out. Thousands of cars also lined up for miles at the Russian border as men fled to avoid mobilization and conscription.
In addition, calls to Ukraine’s “I Want To Live” project sharply increased following the mobilization orders. The program gives Russian military personnel an opportunity to surrender safely to the Ukrainian forces. Russians who surrender are guaranteed civilized treatment in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.