The Russian government has finally admitted it experienced losses during its invasion of Ukraine.
During the war which has entered its 44th day, the Russian government had played down claims by Ukraine that it has suffered losses on the battle field.
On 25 March, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said 1,351 of its soldiers had been killed in combat. Ukraine puts the Russian deaths at almost 19,000.
Western leaders believe that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed.
Now, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has admitted that Russia has suffered”significant losses of troops” in Ukraine saying the losses were a “huge tragedy”.
He told British channel Sky News that he hoped Moscow would reach its war goals “in the coming days”.
Peskov who serves as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson since 2000, also claimed that Russia is searching for ways to end the war.
“Our military are doing their best to bring an end to that operation,” he said. “And we do hope that in coming days, in the foreseeable future, this operation will reach its goals or will finish it by the negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegation.”
Russia has pulled troops away from Kyiv and shifted most of the focus of its war to eastern Ukraine – but the fighting shows no signs of ending.
Speaking to Russia’s parliament, the state Duma, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin admitted that the cumulative impact of extensive sanctions means the country is facing its worst economic outlook in decades.
“No doubt, the current situation could be called the most difficult in three decades for Russia,” he said. “Such sanctions were not used even in the darkest times of the Cold War.”