Last Updated on June 10, 2022
As heavy fighting continues, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that 200 Ukrainian soldiers are dying each day as casualties surge in Eastern Ukraine. Mykhaylo Podolyak told BBC News that the nation is heavily outgunned and pleaded for Western nations to deliver more heavy weapons.
“The Russian forces have thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear at the front and that includes heavy artillery, multiple rocket launch systems and aviation,” Podolyak said. The senior Ukrainian official went on to urge Western leaders to supply the nation with heavy weapons, saying there is a “complete lack of parity” between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
“Our demands for artillery are not just some kind of whim… but an objective need when it comes to the situation on the battlefield,” he said. Podolyak went on to state that Ukraine needs 150 to 300 rocket-based artillery systems to be able to match Russia.
In an op-ed earlier this month, President Biden pledged to provide the beleaguered Ukrainian government with an advanced Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). The administration announced the systems will be included as part of the recently passed $40 billion aid package going to Ukraine.
It is unknown how many launchers Ukraine will actually be getting, but the number appears to be well short of what the government is asking for.
Podolyak’s report that up to 200 Ukrainian troops are dying each day is higher than previously reported estimates. On Thursday, Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said Ukraine was losing 100 soldiers a day, and 500 more were injured.
Podolyak points to a lack of artillery firepower as a massive contributor to rising casualties in Ukraine.
In addition, Podolyak told BBC that the Ukrainian government will not resume peace talks with Russia unless the latter surrenders all territory it has gained since February 24.
The Russian military has concentrated its attacks on the city of Severodonetsk, which is located in Luhansk Oblast. In a statement Wednesday, President Zelensky said that “the fate of the Donbas” is being decided in the city, which has largely been reduced to rubble amidst intense fighting.