Official: As many as 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in conflict.

The latest figures follow a lightning-fast counter-offensive in northeastern and southern Ukraine that saw large swaths of territory recaptured.

As many as 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in battle since Russia invaded the country nine months ago, according to a Kiev official.

The comments from Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appeared to be the first update on the number of combatants killed since late August, when the chief of the armed forces said nearly 9,000 troops had been killed.

“We have official figures from the General Staff, we have official figures from the highest command, and it is (between) 10,000 and 12,500 to 13,000 deaths,” Podolyak told Channel 24 in Ukraine on Thursday.

“We are open in talking about the number of deaths,” he added, saying more soldiers had been injured than killed.

The number of military casualties has not been confirmed by the armed forces of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian army launched a lightning counterattack in September, taking back parts of territory in the northeast and south of the country, including the strategically important city of Kherson, which had been occupied by Russia shortly after the February 24 invasion.

Thousands of soldiers were injured on the battlefield [Leah Millis/Reuters]

With the weather getting colder, the most intense clashes are now taking place in the eastern region of Donetsk.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who is in Washington, DC, pledged to continue supporting Ukraine and condemned “Russia’s illegal war of aggression” against its neighbor.

Last month, the top US general estimated that the Russian military had seen more than 100,000 of its soldiers killed or wounded in Ukraine, adding that Kiev’s forces “probably” suffered in a similar way.

Zelensky adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video interview Wednesday that Russia’s death toll was about seven times that of Ukraine.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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