A general in Kyiv has announced that the Ukrainian army has lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the war with Russia, according to a propaganda narrative launched by the pro-Kremlin media to sow panic in Ukrainian society and discourage resistance. In reality, General Sergey Krivonos spoke of civilian casualties as a result of Russia's war against Ukraine.
NEWS: Ukraine's losses of human lives during the military confrontation with Russia have already reached hundreds of thousands, the former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, and former deputy head of the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine, General Sergei Krivonos, said live on YouTube.
The general believes that the civilians have all the credit for not allowing the capitulation of Ukraine. They organized themselves and the authorities did nothing about it. “It is our enormous merit and we have the right to tell the authorities: why did you do nothing, why are there tens, and now even hundreds of thousands of victims, why did they die?”
Krivonos added that Ukraine has lost 20 percent of its territory so far, and recovering this territory will cost the state “tens of thousands of human lives”.
NARRATIVE: Ukraine has lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers, according to a general in Kyiv.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In reality, the Ukrainian General Sergey Krivonos was not talking about military casualties, but about civilians killed by Russian soldiers. The Ukraina.ru portal intentionally misquotes Krivonos, mentions a YouTube channel that interviewed him, but without posting any hyperlink, in order to make it impossible to verify the information.
Krivonos told Ukrainian Media Network that Russia has killed civilians on Ukrainian territory and caused huge destruction. He recalled the tens of thousands of people killed in Mariupol, but also in the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions.
87 thousand people died in Mariupol alone, and I think this is not the final information. Who will explain what happened to them to their relatives and friends, if they are still alive?” said the Ukrainian general without making any reference in the interview to the losses of the Ukrainian army.
The false casualty narrative has resurfaced time and time again over the past few weeks on Telegram channels and news portals in Russia and the occupied territories to sow panic, discourage Ukrainian resistance, and block Kyiv's defensive efforts. The title is particularly striking, telling readers about a real catastrophe for the Ukrainian army, while the general did not speak at all about the military losses suffered by his state.
The actual losses of the Ukrainian army in the war are not known. In fact, when it comes to casualties, both sides try to present low figures. At the end of August, Valery Zalujni, the Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army, said that Ukraine had lost 9 thousand soldiers in the war. In an interview with French publications, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on September 24 that around 50 Ukrainian soldiers were dying every day, but that was five times less than the casualties recorded by the Russian army. .
The highest estimates by the Ukrainian side, which appeared during the battle for the Luhansk region in the summer, were 200 Ukrainians killed every day; even if this level had been maintained throughout the entire war (but this option is out of the question, given that the intensity of the fighting has varied), it’s far from the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers that the Russian state media claim to have been killed; at such a level of casualties, and adding to that the wounded, the Ukrainian army would no longer exist at this point.
Finally, not only Ukraine but also the West appreciates that Kiev's losses are somewhat lower than those recorded by Moscow's forces. The highest estimates, which belong to Ukraine, are 57,200 Russians killed, while the Pentagon estimated, at the beginning of August, that the total number of dead and wounded registered by Russia would be up to 80 thousand.
Since the start of the Russian invasion, Veridica has debunked a string of false narratives aimed at discouraging Ukrainian resistance. The Russian press wrote, for example, that the EU countries will ask Ukraine to surrender to Russia and American scholars support all Putin’s ideas concerning Ukraine. The Russian press also wrote that the NATO Secretary General suggested Kyiv should concede certain territories to Russia in the name of peace while Ukraine mobilizes a million soldiers, paying in human lives for the western loans.