The Russian army on Friday updated its losses in Ukraine to 1,351 soldiers, while saying that it had evacuated more than 400,000 civilians and condemning Western supplies of weapons to Kyiv.
At a Moscow briefing, senior military officials gave the first update on Russian deaths in weeks, adding that 3,825 soldiers had been wounded.
A senior defense ministry official, Mikhail Mizintsev, said 419,736 civilians had been evacuated to Russia from the separatist eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as well as the rest of Ukraine.
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Of these, more than 88,000 were children, he added, while 9,000 were foreigners.
“Russia will continue to open and provide humanitarian corridors in all directions,” Mizintsev said.
A senior representative of the General Staff, Sergey Rudskoi, said: “We consider a huge mistake the supplies of arms to Kyiv by Western countries.”
“This prolongs the conflict, increases the number of victims and will not be able to influence the outcome of the operation,” Rudskoi added.
“The real purpose of such supplies is not to support Ukraine, but to drag it into a prolonged military conflict,” he said.
“Some members of NATO are suggesting closing the sky. Russia’s armed forces will react accordingly,” he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over his country.
Rudskoi said that Russia was carrying out an operation “on the whole territory of Ukraine.”
He claimed that Ukraine had lost 14,000 troops while 16,000 were wounded.
Russian army says 1,351 soldiers killed in Ukraine