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Kremlin spokesman admits ‘we have significant losses of troops,’ calls it ‘a huge tragedy’

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, acknowledged in an interview published on Thursday that Russia had sustained “significant losses of troops” and called it a “huge tragedy.”

The remarks, which were made to Sky News, are a rare acknowledgement from Moscow of the difficulties Russia has confronted in its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has not provided many updates regarding its troops’ casualties; previous figures reported by Moscow have been notably lower than estimates from Ukraine and NATO.

The interview comes as Russian troops have left the Ukrainian regions of Chernihiv and Kyiv, unable to quickly seize the capital of Ukraine as initially hoped.

Peskov claimed that Russia was acting in “goodwill” by withdrawing from both areas, telling Sky News, “It was a goodwill act to lift tension from those regions and show Russia is really ready to create comfortable conditions to continue negotiations.”

U.S. officials have expressed skepticism about Moscow pulling back its troops in those areas, however, with Pentagon press secretary John Kirby saying last week, “We believe this is a repositioning, not a real withdrawal.”

Peskov also denied the accusations of Russian atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine, where photos and videos shared by Ukrainian officials have shown bodies strewn in the streets with their hands tied behind their backs. He told Sky News the situation in the Ukrainian city is a “​​well-staged insinuation, nothing else.”

“We deny the Russian military can have something in common with these atrocities and that dead bodies were shown on the streets of Bucha,” Peskov said.

Peskov also claimed Russia had “very serious reasons to believe” that the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol was “fake.”

The Kremlin spokesperson continued to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an “operation” rather than a war. The assault on Ukraine has led more than 4 million people to flee the country, according to data from the United Nations refugee agency, and has killed or injured thousands of civilians.

Tags Dmitry Peskov Dmitry Peskov John Kirby Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin
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