An estimated 15,000 Russians have died in Ukraine and some 45,000 have been wounded in the almost five months war Moscow wages on Ukraine, CIA Director William Burns said during the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday.
Speaking in an interview with NBC News, he underscored that intelligence estimates of battlefield casualties are always a range and that although Ukrainians have suffered probably a little less, there are also significant casualties.
According to the Ukrainian estimates in April, which are a little higher, its military had killed more than 20,000 Russian soldiers.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine so far, according to the estimates of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, had resulted in 5,024 civilian casualties and 6,520 injured.
Burns also dismissed the speculation about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mental and physical health, throwing cold water on constant rumors by saying that he’s entirely too healthy.
According to the CIA, Russia faced catastrophic failures in the first phase of its invasion, failing to take Kyiv and western areas of Ukraine, but has since realigned its efforts focusing on the Donbas, the industrial heartland in Ukraine’s east.
Russians and the Russian military have meanwhile adapted, as he noted, and are avoiding continued significant casualties and the news phase enables them to use long-range weapons, making the war-waging more comfortable.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hasn’t ceased to plead with Western countries – above all the United States- to provide Ukraine with more heavy weapons to match the Russian firepower with Washington sending Kyiv High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems since about early June so it can strike targets from greater distances more precisely.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Wednesday an additional security package – including four more launchers- that the Biden administration should announce later this week.
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