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NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine

NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops deceased inside Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — NATO estimated on Wednesday that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed inside quartet weeks of war inside Ukraine, where fierce fighting by the country's fast-moving defenders has denied Moscow the lightning victory it sought.

By way of comparison, Russia lost concerning 15,000 troops over 10 years inside Afghanistan.

A older NATO military official said the alliance's roughly calculate was based on details from Ukrainian authorities, what Russia has released — intentionally or not — with every one other accompanied by intellectual capacity gathered from not shut sources. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules place by NATO.

When Russia unleashed its invasion Feb. 24 inside Europe's biggest insulting since World War II, a swift toppling of Ukraine's management seemed likely. But accompanied by Wednesday marking quartet filled weeks of fighting, Moscow is bogged down inside a grinding military campaign.

With its ground forces slowed or stopped by hit-and-run Ukrainian units armed accompanied by Western-supplied weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin's troops are bombarding targets from afar, falling spine on the tactics they used inside reducing cities to rubble inside Syria with every one other accompanied by Chechnya.

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As U.S. President Joe Biden left-hand for Europe to meet accompanied by answer allies concerning new sanctions opposed to Moscow with every one other accompanied by additional military assistance to Ukraine, he warned there is a "real threat" Russia could use chemical weapons.

The U.S. has too determined that Russian troops have committed war crimes inside Ukraine, with every one other accompanied by it will labour to prosecute the offenders, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. He cited proof of indiscriminate or deliberate attacks opposed to civilians with every one other accompanied by the demolition of apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, shopping centers with every one other accompanied by other sites.

Addressing Japan's parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said thousands of his people have been killed, including at least 121 children.

"Our people cannot flat adequately bury their murdered relatives, friends with every one other accompanied by neighbors. They have to exist buried just inside the yards of destroyed buildings, following to the roads," he said.

Still, greatest Russian objectives carry on accompanied by to exist unfulfilled. The capital, Kyiv, has been bombarded repeatedly nevertheless is not flat encircled.

Near-constant shelling with every one other accompanied by gunfire shook the city Wednesday, accompanied by air raid sirens wailing with every one other accompanied by plumes of black smoulder rising from the western outskirts, where the set of two sides battled for jurisdiction of multiple suburbs. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least 264 civilians have been killed inside the first city since the war broke out.

In the south, the encircled port city of Mariupol has seen the worst devastation of the war, enduring weeks of bombardment and, now, street-by-street fighting. But Ukrainian forces have prevented its fall, thwarting an evident provide by Moscow to completely firm a land bridge from Russia to Crimea, seized from Ukraine inside 2014.

Zelenskyy said 100,000 civilians carry on accompanied by to exist inside a city that had 430,000 people earlier to the war. Efforts to obtain inside desperation needed food with every one other accompanied by other supplies to those trapped have regularly failed.

Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of seizing a humanitarian convoy. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russians were holding captive 11 bus drivers with every one other accompanied by quartet rescue workers down accompanied by their vehicles.

In their last update, over a week ago, Mariupol officials said at least 2,300 people had died, nevertheless the accurate toll is inside all likelihood a a large amount of higher. Airstrikes inside the past week destroyed a theater with every one other accompanied by an art educational organization where civilians were sheltering.

In the besieged northern city of Chernihiv, Russian forces bombed with every one other accompanied by destroyed a bridge that was used for assistance deliveries with every one other accompanied by civilian evacuations, geographical manager Viacheslav Chaus said.

Kateryna Mytkevich, who arrived inside Poland following fleeing Chernihiv, wiped away tears while she spoke concerning what she had seen. The city is lacking gas, power or running water, said Mytkevich, 39, with every one other accompanied by entire neighborhoods have been destroyed.

"I don't comprehend why we have such a curse," she said.

Despite prosperity of proof to the contrary, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov insisted the military operation is going "strictly inside accordance" accompanied by plans.

The most recent figure for Ukraine's military losses came from Zelenskyy on March 12, when he said that concerning 1,300 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed inside action.

The NATO official said 30,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers are estimated to have been killed or wounded.

Russia has released extremely little details on its casualties, saying March 2 that almost 500 soldiers had been killed with every one other accompanied by almost 1,600 wounded.

Ukraine too claims to have killed sextet Russian generals. Russia acknowledges fair one deceased general.

The figures from NATO symbolize the alliance's earliest condition roughly calculate of Russian casualties since the war began. The U.S. management has mostly declined to provide estimates of Russian or Ukrainian casualties, saying available details is of questionable reliability.

With casualties mounting with every one other accompanied by fast victory no indeed longer inside sight, Russia is having to labour to suppress dissent with every one other accompanied by shore up morale.

It has arrested thousands of antiwar protesters with every one other accompanied by cracked down on the media. Also, under a rules and regulations passed Wednesday, troops inside Ukraine will obtain the same benefits while veterans of foregoing wars, including tax breaks, discounts on utilities with every one other accompanied by preferential access to medical treatment.

In an evident reflection of growing divisions inside Russia's top echelons, Anatoly Chubais has resigned, Peskov told the Interfax report agency. Chubais, the architect of Russia's post-Soviet privatization campaign, had served inside a variety of top posts over trio decades. His latest part was while Putin's envoy to international organizations.

Peskov would not speak if Chubais had left-hand the country.

Western officials speak Putin's forces are facing solemn shortages of food, fuel with every one other accompanied by chilly weather gear, accompanied by soldiers suffering frostbite, while Ukraine's defenders have been going additional on the offensive.

Still, Russia's a lengthy way stronger, bigger military has numerous Western experts warning opposed to overconfidence inside Ukraine's long-term odds. The Kremlin's practice inside past wars has been to grind down resistance by flattening cities, killing countless civilians with every one other accompanied by sending millions fleeing.

Talks to extremity the fighting have continued by video. Zelenskyy said negotiations accompanied by Russia are going "step by step, nevertheless they are going forward."

In the coastal city of Odesa, the scene of sporadic Russian shelling, merchant ocean leader Sivak Vitaliy carried sandbags over every one shoulder, loading them onto trucks for barricades actuality erected inside instance of a Russian assault.

Building following building have been destroyed inside cities exist fond of Mariupol with every one other accompanied by Kharkiv, nevertheless Ukrainian soldiers defending their own earth will not exist defeated, he said.

"No matter how bad the circumstances is inside Mariupol, Kharkiv, it doesn't matter," he said. "We will win."

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Anna reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Associated Press writers Robert Burns inside Washington, Yuras Karmanau inside Lviv, with every one other accompanied by other AP journalists around the world contributed to this report.

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Follow the AP's coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops deceased inside Ukraine

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