A woman walks as Ukrainian servicemen prepare to pick up a body in the north of Kyiv. File/AFP
Gulf Today Report
NATO estimated on Wednesday that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in four weeks of war in Ukraine, where fierce resistance from the country's defenders has denied Moscow the lightning victory it sought.
By way of comparison, Russia lost about 15,000 troops over 10 years in Afghanistan.
NATO has sharply increased its presence on the eastern borders of the alliance, with some 40,000 troops spread from the Baltic to the Black Sea. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the leaders would discuss deploying four new combat units in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
"I expect leaders will agree to strengthen NATO's posture in all domains, with major increases in the eastern part of the alliance. On land, in the air and at sea," he told a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the summit.
About 1,300 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address both the NATO and EU summits by video-conference.
He has pleaded, without success, for NATO to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but Western allies have imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia and provided weapons and aid worth billions of dollars for Ukraine's defence.
A senior NATO military official said the alliance's estimate was based on information from Ukrainian authorities, what Russia has released — intentionally or not — and intelligence gathered from open sources. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by NATO.
Ukraine has released little information about its own military losses, and the West has not given an estimate, but President Volodymyr Zelensky said nearly two weeks ago that about 1,300 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed.
When Russia unleashed its invasion Feb. 24 in Europe’s biggest offensive since World War II, a swift toppling of Ukraine’s government seemed likely. But with Wednesday marking four full weeks of fighting, Moscow is bogged down in a grinding military campaign.
The bi-annual exercise, known as Cold Response, has taken on an added significance for some of the roughly 3,000 US Marines taking part in it because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Months into an invasion that failed in its short-term aim of capturing Kyiv, Moscow is now intensifying operations in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
Thwarted in their push toward the capital, Kyiv, Russian troops focused on the eastern region of Donbas, where Ukraine said it was investigating a claim that a poisonous substance had been dropped on its troops.
Karnataka Police have arrested a woman from Kerala, who threatened to explode a bomb at the Bengaluru International Airport while arguing with the authorities regarding delay to board the flight, police said on Monday.
Syrian toddler Raghad Ismail was rushed to safety from the rubble of her home after it collapsed in a huge earthquake that has wreaked devastation in Syria and Turkey. But most of her family, including her mother, did not make it out alive.
It is going to be “Babies’ Day Out” at the Philippine Consulate General in Al Qusais, Dubai (PCG-Dubai) on February 10, Friday, 7:30am to 3:30pm.