Russian forces reeling from 'powerful blows' by Ukraine military, Zelenskyy says

Volodymyr Zelenskyy claims 16,000 of Vladimir Putin’s troops have died during the invasion

Published Last updated

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukraine's military have dealt Russian forces “powerful blows” and caused “significant losses”.

In the video address posted to social media, Mr Zelenskyy claimed 16,000 of Vladimir Putin’s troops have died - a figure drastically different to The Kremlin's claim of 1,351 military casualties.

Mr Zelenskyy said: "Over the past week, our heroic Armed Forces have dealt powerful blows to the enemy. Significant losses."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

The address comes as Moscow hints it’s scaling back their invasion and focusing on “liberation” of the eastern Donbas region.

Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate Sergei Rudskoi said: "The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished.

Troops in Donetsk Reigon
Troops in Donetsk Reigon

"The combat potential of the armed forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal - the liberation of Donbas."

Nearly a month into the war, Russian troops have failed to seize a single major city in the Eastern-European country.

The Pentagon announced yesterday, the city Kherson which was one of the first to be occupied by Russian troops is no longer under their control after counterattacks from Ukraine forces.

In his address, Mr Zelenskyy continued to appeal for further peace negotiations with The Kremlin to end the war.

He said: “Our defenders are leading the Russian leadership to a simple and logical idea: we must talk, talk meaningfully, urgently and fairly”.

He went on to express concern that thousands of civilians remain trapped in the southeastern city Mariupol without water, food or heating.

He said: "The situation in the city remains tragic. Absolutely tragic. The Russian military does not allow any humanitarian aid into the city."