The Ukrainian government claimed that Russia has “suffered” about 3,000 troop casualties and lost 516 kinds of various military vehicles, 80 tanks, 10 airplanes, and seven helicopters so far on Friday, possibly indicating that the Ukrainian people have had some success against the Russian invaders.
The announcement came at approximately 3:00 pm local time and was issued by Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar. Malyar also told the Ukrainian people, “We are strong! Victory will be ours!” in its effort against the Russian military invasion which began early Thursday morning local time.
“Russian forces have lost about 2,800 servicemen and 80 tanks during their assault on Ukraine, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Friday,” according to Reuters.
“She added on her Facebook page that the Russian troops also lost about 516 armoured combat vehicles, 10 aircraft and seven helicopters,” the media outlet added.
The latest figures appear to confirm what U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), vice chair of the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee, relayed on Thursday, stating that the Russian conquest of Ukraine was taking longer than Russian Vladimir Putin expected and was also costlier.
“Russia’s invasion has already taken longer & been costlier than Putin expected. Almost certain his military & intel leaders knew this ahead of time but no one dared tell him his expectations were unrealistic,” Rubio tweeted.
Rubio also added that one of the main immediate goals of Putin and the Russian army is to overthrow the government in the nation’s capital, Kyiv, and install an interim Russian-puppet government.
Despite that intelligence and the apparent constant barrage of attacks aimed at toppling Kyiv, The Daily Wire reported on Friday morning that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a televised address will not be fleeing the country:
“I know that a lot of misinformation and rumors are being spread now,” Zelensky stated. “In particular, it is claimed that I have left Kyiv. I remain in the capital; I am staying with my people. My family is not a traitor, but a citizen of Ukraine. According to our information, the enemy marked me as the number one target. My family is the number two goal. They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the Head of State. We have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv. … I am staying in the government quarter together with others.”
Evidence of the Ukrainian people’s fighting spirit can further be seen in the 13 Ukrainian service members who told Russian battleships to “go f*** yourself,” rather than surrender to their enemies. All 13 service members were killed, but are being praised around the world for dying heroically, The Daily Wire reported.
Video of the interaction can be seen here:
Ukrainian post at Snake Island in the Black Sea told Russian warship to "go fuck yourself" after being told to surrender. The 13 service members were killed pic.twitter.com/2FuKHc04D3
— BNO News (@BNONews) February 24, 2022
On Thursday, Zelensky also appeared to take a veiled shot at President Joe Biden for what is seen as a lack of support to the Ukrainian army while also directly calling out NATO for its ambiguity as to whether or not Ukraine will be allowed to join that alliance.
Yet, Zelensky also emphasized that his nation is “not afraid of anything,” The Daily Wire also reported:
We are left alone in defense of our state. Who is ready to fight with us? Honestly – I do not see such. Who is ready to guarantee Ukraine’s accession to NATO? Honestly, everyone is afraid. …I tell all the partners of our state: now is an important moment – the fate of our country is being decided. I ask them: are you with us? They answer that they are with us. But they are not ready to take us to the Alliance.Today, I asked the twenty-seven leaders of Europe whether Ukraine will be in NATO. I asked directly. Everyone is afraid. They do not answer.
And we are not afraid of anything. We are not afraid to defend our state. We are not afraid of Russia. We are not afraid to talk to Russia. We are not afraid to say everything about security guarantees for our state. We are not afraid to talk about neutral status. We are not in NATO now. But the main thing – what security guarantees will we have? And what specific countries will give them?