31,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed in Two Years of War, Zelensky Says

Some 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion began two years ago, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday, acknowledging for the first time in the war a concrete figure for Ukraine’s toll.

“This is a big loss for us,” Mr. Zelensky said at a news conference in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. But he declined to disclose the number of wounded or missing, saying that Russia could use the information to gauge the number of Ukraine’s active forces.

Mr. Zelensky’s tally could not be independently verified. It differs sharply from estimates by U.S. officials, who, this past summer, put the losses much higher, saying that close to 70,000 Ukrainians had been killed and 100,000 to 120,000 had been wounded. Russia’s military casualties, the officials said, were about twice as high.

Mr. Zelensky’s unusual acknowledgment came as his country’s armed forces are now on the back foot along most of the 600-mile front line, with Russian troops pressing attacks in the east and south. Ukraine’s military leaders have long said that they need more troops to push back against Russia’s relentless assaults; a mobilization bill that could pave the way for a large-scale draft of up to 500,000 troops is making its way through Ukraine’s Parliament.