Friday will mark the 100th day of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, but don’t expect much recognition of this milestone from Russian President Vladimir Putin, or his subordinates.
The Kremlin has reportedly urged Russian state media not to “draw attention” to it being 100 days since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24.
In fact, the term “war” isn’t mentioned among Russian leaders or the country’s accompanying media. Instead, the attempted overtaking of Ukraine is characterized as a “special operation.”
According to a source in Russia’s “presidential administration,” the Latvia-based publication Meduza reports that Kremlin officials are “focusing on dates related to the war [that] can make Russians think about the goals and success of the invasion.”
Ukraine says Russia has lost approximately 30,000 soldiers in this conflict.
But that could merely be an educated guess, since Russia has not released any casualty figures since late March, when it said that 1,351 soldiers had died and 3,825 had been wounded.
Citing a report from The New York Times, earlier this month in northeastern Ukraine, estimates based on publicly available evidence suggest that “well over 400 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded in one [isolated] incident.”
On the other side, Ukraine estimates it’s losing 60 to 100 soldiers per day while defending the eastern part of the country.
An anonymous source, speaking to Meduza, recently said about Russia: “When talking about [Day 100], questions always arise: What has been achieved by this date? It has been like this since Soviet times, when there were five-year plans, plans for them, and so on.
“It turns out that there is almost nothing to present by this date. We can say that some areas have been taken, but their name does not tell people anything. Is it a lot or a little? Are the goals of the ‘operation’ close or not yet?”
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remotely addressed the parliament of Luxembourg, saying that Russia now occupies one-fifth of Ukraine.
Citing a Times report, Zelenskyy also said fighting was raging along a “roughly 620-mile-long, crescent-shaped front” that stretches from around the northeastern city of Kharkiv to the outskirts of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea.
“If you look at the entire front line, and it is, of course, not straight, this line is more than a thousand kilometers,” Zelenskyy said in the video address.
Zelenskyy added: “Just imagine! Constant fighting, which stretched along the front line for more than a thousand kilometers.”
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