Ukrainian troops carry shells to fire at Russian positions on the frontline in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Friday’s Coverage: UK Pledges £3 Billion/Year to Kyiv For “As Long As It Takes”

Map: Institute for the Study of War


France estimates that 150,000 Russian troops have been killed during Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Novaya Gazeta Europe, Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said:

Europe and its partners will remain united and determined, for as long as necessary. Russia’s military failure is already apparent.

We estimate Russian military losses at 500,000, including 150,000 deaths.

All of this for what? This can be summed up in two words: for nothing.

The 150,000 killed in action is around ten times higher than the losses of the Soviet army in Afghanistan from 1979-1989.

In its latest intelligence assessment, the UK Ministry of Defence puts the Russian losses at more than 465,000, with 2024’s monthly rate of around 900 continuing in April.

The Ministry projects, “It is likely that Russia’s casualty rate will again increase over the next two months as it renews dedicated offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.”


Ukraine air defenses downed all 13 Iran-type attack drones launched by Russia overnight.

Four civilians in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, were injured by falling debris which started a fire in an office building.

The victims included a 13-year-old child and a woman being treated in hospital. A second woman was treated at the site.

The Russians also fired four S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles.

Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions,” the statement said.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The first weapons in the $60.8 billion US aid package are in Ukraine.

The assistance was approved two weeks ago, overcoming a 6 1/2-month blockade by Trumpists and hard-right Republicans.

See also Ukraine War, Day 791: US Senate Approves $60.8 Billion in Aid to Kyiv

The US military had stocked arms in Europe in anticipation of the approval. The New York Times confirmed on Friday that anti-armor rockets, missiles, and 155-mm artillery shells arrived in Ukraine on April 28, four days after President Joe Biden signed the aid bill. a second installment was delivered the following day.

A Spanish official added that missiles for US-made air defense systems recently arrived in Poland and will “soon” be at the frontline. A Patriot air defense system pledged by Germany is not expected until late June, but its arrival could coincide with that of the first US-made F-16 fighter jets.

Will Russia Be Checked in the East?

However, as Russia presses for a breakthrough in eastern Ukraine, US officials said it could take several months for the bulk of weapons and equipment to reach the time.

A “senior US official”, citing a confidential military assessment, said Russia likely will continue to make marginal gains. But Washington believes Russian forces problably do not have enough manpower concentrated for an immediate large-scale offensive.

Ukrainian commanders continue to prepare the public for a further Russian advance in the Donetsk region, including the loss of the strategic town of Chasiv Yar, before the American aid bolsters defenses.

The commander of Ukraine Ground Forces, Lt. Gen. Oleksandr Pavlyuk, told London’s The Times, in an interview published on Friday, that Russia’s objective is to seize all of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. If successful, the Russians could then try to seize the rest of the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine.

Pavlyuk’s assessment echoes that of Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Vadym Skibitskyi, who said on Thursday that Moscow is seeking a battlefield triumph before Victory Day on May 9.

Skibitskyi said that while Russia will not seize Chasiv Yar in Donestsk “today or tomorrow”, it is “probably a matter of time” before Ukraine’s defenders have to withdraw.

Russia has tried to seize the town since overrunning Bakhmut, 10 km (6.2 miles) to the east, in May 2023.

Pavlyuk said Ukrainian forces are doing everything possible to hold out Chasiv Yar, but he noted that Russian forces have an estimated 10:1 artillery advantage and “total air superiority”.

The commander said of the costly delay in US aid:

Personally, the main lesson for me is that you shouldn’t really expect to count on anyone else. I learnt not to rely on anyone for help. Ultimately, everything may rest in our hands alone.