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Zelenskyy: Nearly 1,300 Ukrainian troops killed since Russia invasion

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday that “around 1,300” Ukrainian troops have been killed since Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbour, as Moscow’s forces closed in on the capital Kyiv.

Zelenskyy made the disclosure at a media briefing, the first time Kyiv had given such a toll since the beginning of fighting. On Mar 2, Russia said it had lost nearly 500 soldiers, but has not updated the figure since.

The Ukrainian president claimed that Russia had lost “around 12,000 men”.

It’s “a ratio of one to 10, but that doesn’t make me happy”, he said, reports agency.

The Russian army has committed around 150,000 soldiers to the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian forces upped the pressure on Kyiv Saturday, pummelling civilian areas in other Ukrainian cities, amid fresh efforts to get aid to the devastated port city of Mariupol.

France and Germany urged Russia’s Vladimir Putin Saturday to end a deadly days-long siege of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, the French presidency said.

After a three-way phone call with the Russian leader and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office also accused the Putin of “lies” for alleging that Ukrainian forces had committed human rights abuses.