Zelensky Adviser: 100-200 Ukrainian Soldiers Are Now Dying Daily
He was speaking to BBC in the context of asking for more Western heavy weapons
Speaking to BBC Mihailo Podoliak, an advisor to Zelensky, was asked (at the 4-minute mark) about the level of casualties the Ukrainian military was currently enduring. Podoliak used the question to lobby for more weapons for Ukraine. He even sets up an emotional blackmail situation where he states that if the West sent the weapons Ukraine is currently asking for then the current high casualties will come down:
Unfortunately, fighting in the east of the country is very intense. And as a result, daily losses have grown to between 100 to 200 people a day. And the reason for this is the complete lack of parity when it comes to artillery between the two armies. The Russian forces have thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear at the front and that includes, MLRS, and aviation. That has increased the casualties. And therefore we say to our partners that our demands for artillery whim on the part of Ukraine but an objective need when it comes to the situation on the battlefield. We are ready to fight. Our soldiers are ready to pay any price. But nonetheless we want some kind of parity when it comes to firing power. And we think if we are able to gain that parity it will significantly reduce the mortality and the number of dead and wounded that we are currently sustaining.
I think in this context, when Kiev officials are talking to foreign media and asking for more weapons, they do not have much of an incentive to downplay Ukrainian casualties at all. On the contrary, their incentive is to play up their casualties for the West — an incentive tempered by domestic needs in the opposite direction.
When they present Ukrainian casualties as being high that sets up Ukrainians as heroically tenacious and worthy of support. The idea is to shame the West in the sense that Ukrainians are giving up 100 to 200 soldiers daily but the West won’t even send some howitzers and MLRS.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the President’s Office, said that the losses of the Ukrainian military now range from 100 to 200 people every day. These are the largest figures published during the war.
In an interview with BBC World Service Newshour, Mykhailo Podoliak said that one of the main reasons for the large number of losses was the lack of parity between Ukrainian and Russian military capabilities.
Podoliak said Ukraine needed hundreds, not a handful, of the most powerful artillery systems the West could provide.
He told the BBC that Ukraine needed up to 300 missile systems to be able to achieve parity with Russia’s firepower and liberate the occupied territories.
Podoliak adds that “until Russia suffers a serious military defeat, no form of dialogue will be possible, and they will continue to try to seize part of our country.”
Honestly, I think that with Kiev having the mixed incentive of playing up losses for the West, and playing them down for the domestic audience that overall their pronouncements on own losses are somewhat truthful.
This is the fourth time they have spoken of their casualty levels. (3 earlier times it was Zelensky and now his adviser.) Clearly they clearly want the information on their dead out. If they didn’t, they could just stay mum like Russia.
And you would be validated in your opinion because it does appear that a certain portion of the Western media is aligning with Zelensky's narrative. This is part of his strategy to manipulate the emotions of the public in the West to pressure their governments for more weapons. https://t.co/LRw421HEWW pic.twitter.com/jXhMnWgDrt
— Dr.Snekotron (@snekotron) June 9, 2022
The patently untrue claim that they are inflicting 300 dead daily on the Russians gives them the space to cite a number like 100-200 for themselves and still look good by comparison. (Once again the rule that a side will lie about enemy casualties much more than about its own comes through.)