Kirby refused to make any statement about the losses incurred by Ukraine, whose response to the Russian invasion is supported by a Western coalition led by the United States.
The White House announced Monday that US intelligence estimates indicate that the losses of Russian forces in the battles in Ukraine since December have amounted to 20,000 dead and 80,000 wounded.
“Our estimates indicate that since December, Russia has counted more than 100,000 dead and wounded, including 20,000 killed in battle,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, during a press conference.
Kirby explained that half of those killed belonged to Russia’s private military group, Wagner, and the majority of them were former prisoners “thrown into combat in Bakhmut (eastern Ukraine) without adequate military training or leadership.”
The American spokesman pointed out that “the conclusion is that Russia’s attack backfired on it.”
Kirby said: “Russia’s losses in the war exceed those recorded in World War II, and are greater than the Allied losses during the attack on Japan in that war.”
He added, “Last December, Russia launched a massive offensive across several fronts, including towards Volidar, Avdiivka, Bakhmut, and Kremina. Most of these efforts faltered and failed. Russia was unable to control any region of strategic importance.”
He noted that the Russians are making some incremental gains in Bakhmut but at a “terrible cost” and that Ukraine’s defenses in the area remain strong.
Kirby said: “Russia has exhausted its military stocks and exhausted its armed forces.”
The US official continued, “Russia’s attempt to launch an offensive during the winter in the Donbass, mainly through Bakhmut, failed.”
On the other hand, Kirby refused to make any statement about the losses incurred by Ukraine, which is supported by a Western coalition led by the United States in its response to the Russian invasion.
He said, “It is up to them to talk about this matter (human losses) or not. I will not disclose anything that would make it difficult for them. They are the victims, and Russia is the aggressor.”
In recent weeks, most of the battles in Ukraine have been concentrated in the Donbass region (east), especially in Bakhmut, the almost completely destroyed industrial city, of which Russian forces assert that they now control 80% of it.