Ukraine battles to maintain its defensive lines in Donbas in the face of unceasing Russian barrages.
Meanwhile, its military strategists are increasingly faced with the tough question of whether to rescind from frontline urban centers to preserve the lives of troops, even if doing so would mean a more violent battle to regain control of the territory.
In comments made to journalists on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky referred to the eastern cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk as “dead cities.”
These cities have been devastated by Russian attacks and are nearly devoid of civilians. This provides a glimpse into the predicament Ukraine is currently facing.
If Ukrainian forces do not evacuate, they run the prospect of being encircled and trapped, similar to how Ukrainian fighters were in Mariupol when they were finally forced to hand themselves over to Russia.
Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Severodonetsk is "dead," Zelensky says; Moscow rebuked at U.N. for fueling food crisis https://t.co/MDRmts2NaN
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 7, 2022
Per a news source that cited an unknown government official, since Russian soldiers entered Ukraine more than three months ago, they have been responsible for the deaths or injuries of around 40,000 civilians in Ukraine.
The death and injury tolls in every war are practically impossible to determine in real-time; each side has its own motivations to inflate its figures in a preferred direction.
This makes it nearly impossible to accurately count the number of people killed and injured in each fight.
The majority of the figures presented during the conflict in Ukraine have been from the Ukrainian side. Still, Russians provided virtually no public comment on the topic.
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated “at least tens of thousands” of civilians were killed in the first three months of the conflict. He also stated approximately 60 to 100 Ukrainian troops are killed every day.
In contrast, 500 are getting severely injured in the Donbas, where most of the fighting is taking place. The New York Times cited a number of 40,000.
While the Ukrainian military has been very open about the death toll it tallied for the other side, the Ukrainian military has been much more cautious when it comes to disclosing such information regarding its own armed forces.
Just over 100 days ago, Vladimir Putin thought he'd waltz into Ukraine and be welcomed with rose petals and an easy victory.
Well, he was dead wrong. It's been 100 days the world still stands with Ukraine. We still stand with democracy.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) June 4, 2022
It was reported on Wednesday by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that 4,253 civilians were killed, and another 5,141 were injured.
However, the office said it believes “the real numbers are significantly higher” because there are areas where battles are taking place that it does not have entry to.
According to an announcement made by the office a week ago, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s department has filed approximately 15,000 investigations into suspected war crimes.
These alleged crimes include the targeting of people.
There are also 7,200 cases of genocide, which is another type of war crime that involves planning and carrying out a large-scale act of violence with the help of a state’s military.