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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ukrainians with HIV to serve in army

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has issued new estimates of Ukrainian military casualties

Ukrainian military losses since the beginning of the year have surpassed 111,000 troops, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday, as he shared Moscow’s latest estimates from the conflict.

Russian forces “continue to break up” Ukrainian defensive positions along the entire front line, the senior official reported during a ministerial meeting. Russia’s territorial gains this year have amounted to 547 sq km, he added.

Read more: US won’t fight for Ukraine – White House

Shoigu accused the US and its allies of pressuring Kiev into disregarding the cost of continued fighting. As a result, Ukraine suffered 1,000 casualties daily throughout April, the minister claimed.

Kiev has ramped up its mobilization efforts due to high attrition, Shoigu added, claiming that Ukrainians unwilling to fight “are being forced to the front line” and certain death. The Russian defense chief accused the leadership in Kiev of sacrificing citizens for the sake of continued Western financial and military assistance.

In addition to inflicting significant casualties, Russian forces have also destroyed some 21,000 heavy weapons operated by Ukrainian forces, Shoigu stated.

Read more: Russia tells Israel to condemn Ukraine

In April, Shoigu estimated Ukrainian casualties as approaching 500,000 since the hostilities with Russia started in February 2022.

Earlier this year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed into law a radical reform of military service, which includes harsher punishments for draft dodgers and facilitates the work of conscription officers.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has since suspended consular services for military-age men residing in foreign countries, stating that anyone avoiding mobilization does not deserve them. Kiev is also seeking assistance from Western nations in its attempts to force potential conscripts to return.