The Russian military has suffered as many as 80,000 dead and wounded since its invasion of Ukraine, Colin Kahl, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, said Monday.
He called it an “extraordinary cost” inflicted by Ukrainian forces fighting for stakes that “are existential for them.” The figure is nearly twice the 42,340 Russian casualties estimated by the Ukrainian military, which does not report on its own combat losses. Neither does the Kremlin.
Russia has not achieved the objectives President Vladimir Putin’s intended when the invasion began Feb. 24, Kahl said.
“His overall objective was to overrun the entire country, to engage in regime change in Kyiv, to snuff out Ukraine as an independent sovereign and independent nation,” Kahl said. “None of that has happened.”
Russia also appears have lost as many as 4,000 armored vehicles, including tanks, Kahl said. Ukrainian officials peg that number at 4,070 armored vehicles and 1,811 tanks.
Pentagon officials had been reluctant to quantify casualties on both sides of the war, citing unclear estimates. By comparison, in 20 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, about 50,000 U.S. troops were wounded and more than 5,200 were killed.
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