Russia admits to significant troop losses in Ukraine

Russia rules out withdrawal of troops before the end of the year

Image of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Credit:

Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson held his first interview with western media on Thursday April 7th, during which he denied Russian atrocities in Ukraine but at the same admit to significant troop losses in Ukraine.

Whilst he would not be drawn on numbers until these had been doubled checked, he did tell Sky News that: “We have suffered significant losses of troops, this is a huge tragedy for us.”

The admission came as a real surprise with the Russian narrative having downplayed any suggestion of losses and instead focussing on the so-called “achievement of their goals.”

With Ukraine having put Russian losses at well in excess of 10,000, Russia has consistently publicised low numbers of casualties as it works to keep the allusion of its successes in Ukraine alive.

Many of the commentators and experts who watched the interview said that they thought the admission suggested that numbers were considerably worse than Peskov was willing to acknowledge.

The admission is however consistent with the regular reports that troops Russia has had to bolster its forces with soldiers from nieghbouring Russian territories.

Whilst much of the interview followed the usual lines and messages that are put out by Moscow, there were two areas of concern. The first is the claim that Russia are the ones trying to find a peaceful solution and that is NATO who are the aggressors, threatening the very existence of Russia.

The second was the veiled threat towards their Scandinavian neighbours who have said that it might be time to change tack and to join NATO. Peskon indicated that such a move may require the need to rebalance the world in order for Russia to protect itself.

For Peskov to admit to Russia troop losses is significant and is in stark contrast to the messages put forward by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who has consistently downplayed any such thoughts.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at