Kiev must come clean on true scale of losses – ex-prosecutor general — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Ukraine’s leaders must admit that they’ve lost 500,000 soldiers to boost recruitment, Yury Lutsenko has said

Kiev could convince reluctant Ukrainians to join the fight against Russia by publicly admitting that it is suffering heavy losses on the battlefield and the country’s very existence is in jeopardy, former prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko has said.

Ukraine announced a general mobilization shortly after the outbreak of the conflict in February 2022, prohibiting most men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Many, however, are reluctant to serve, with thousands attempting to flee Ukraine or forging medical certificates to avoid conscription.

Speaking to Ukrainian media on Wednesday, the former official proposed a number of steps to address the draft-dodging and corruption that is hampering the country’s mobilization efforts.

He suggested that new legislation on mobilization must be introduced by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the country’s defense minister, and top army general to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.

“They should say how many Ukrainians have died. I know that this news will be received badly. But there is no other way to bring out of the comfort zone millions of those who hide behind bogus stories that everyone can serve except me,” Lutsenko said.

He added that Ukraine’s leaders should frankly admit that Kiev has lost 500,000 service members since the start of the conflict, which puts the monthly casualty toll at around 30,000. Ukrainians “must know how many have died, and then all debates about the mobilization will be settled,” he added.

According to Lutsenko, this “shock” would lead to large queues at recruitment offices, as had occurred in February 2022. Another important measure, according to the former official, would be the campaign to send members of the Ukrainian elite to the frontline.

“The army should not be all workers and peasants. Everyone should fight for Ukraine,” he stated, arguing that this would encourage ordinary citizens who he said have a very strong sense of justice.

Zelensky said in December that the Ukrainian military had asked him to mobilize another 450,000 or 500,000 soldiers to make up for battlefield losses. Later that month, the government introduced a mobilization bill proposing to lower the recruitment age from 27 to 25 and eliminate exemptions for some categories of disabled people.

The initiative comes after Ukraine launched a large counteroffensive in early June, which failed to gain any substantial ground. Moscow has described Kiev’s losses as catastrophic, estimating them at around 160,000 since the start of the push. Ukraine, however, has been reluctant to officially publish data on its casualties.

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