Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the West’s support for Ukraine was “destructive,” the Kremlin said. Russia’s president spoke with Scholz over the phone on Friday. “Attention was drawn to the destructive line of Western states, including Germany, which are pumping the Kyiv regime with weapons and training the Ukrainian military,” the Kremlin said. “All this, as well as comprehensive political and financial support for Ukraine, leads to the fact that Kyiv completely rejects the idea of any negotiations,” it said.
Putin also insisted that strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure were an “inevitable” response to Kyiv’s “provocative attacks,” and that Moscow had long “refrained” from hitting such targets. Olaf Scholz urged Moscow to withdraw its forces from Ukraine and resolve the conflict through diplomacy in his call with Putin, a German government spokesperson said. He also condemned Russian airstrikes on civil infrastructure. The two leaders discussed global food security and agreed to remain in contact, the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian forces would not withdraw from Ukraine, in response to US President Joe Biden’s calls for an end to the invasion. “Of course the special military operation will continue,” Peskov said, according to Russia’s state news agency Interfax.
10,000-13,000 Ukrainian troops killed in war — Ukrainian official
Between 10,000 and 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the war, presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said. “We have official figures from the general staff, we have official figures from the top command, and they amount to between 10,000 and 12,500-13,000 killed,” Podolyak told Ukrainian broadcaster Channel 24. The death toll could not be independently verified. The last official count from Kyiv dates back to late August, when the head of the military said 9,000 troops had been killed.
On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that 100,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed in the war. Her office later corrected her comments, saying that they referred to both the killed and the injured.
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