Ursula von der Leyen provided the estimate, adding that around 20,000 civilian lives have also been lost
Nov 30, 2022
Medics evacuating a wounded Ukrainian soldier. © AFP / Anatolii Stepanov
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has presented the total number of losses estimated to have been suffered by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
“More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” von der Leyen claimed on Wednesday, while adding that around 20,000 civilian lives have also been lost amid the fighting, which has continued since late February.
The head of the European Commission didn’t reveal the sources of the information she provided.
In late September, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had to date amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times higher than those of Russia.
In her address, von der Leyen also proposed to set up a specialized, UN-backed court to investigate and prosecute what she described as “Russia’s crime of aggression.”
She also said that a special structure would be created by the EU to manage and invest 300 billion euros (nearly $311 billion) in Russian Central Bank reserves and 19 billion euros of Russian business figures’ assets, which the EU froze after the outbreak of the conflict. The plan is to use the proceeds from those activities to rebuild and assist Ukraine, according to the commission president.
EU chief’s assessment of Ukrainian casualties deleted
Ursula von der Leyen had earlier said around 100,000 Kiev troops had been killed to date
Nov 30, 2022
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen © AFP / Frederick Florin
A claim about the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed during the conflict with Russia has been removed from a speech by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the executive’s official website.
“More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” she declared during an address earlier on Wednesday, adding that around 20,000 civilians had also died in nine months of fighting. The source of this information was not provided.
However, her reference to Kiev’s death toll soon disappeared from the text of the speech on the European Commission’s website. It was also cut from a video of the address on the website and on von der Leyen’s account on Twitter.
The editing was noticed by some media outlets and social media users, who compared the two versions of the statement online. The move was then officially confirmed by the European Commission.
The EU executive body’s spokeswoman Dana Spinant took to Twitter to thank those who had “pointed out the inaccuracy” in von der Leyen’s speech.
“The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia’s brutality,” she wrote.
In late September, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had by then amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times greater than Russia’s.