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Britain estimates 15,000 Russian troops killed since Ukraine invasion began

British Defense Minister Ben Wallace speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 16, 2022. (Olivier Matthy/AP)
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 16, 2022. (Olivier Matthy/AP)

LONDON — The British government says it believes 15,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine since Moscow launched its invasion two months ago.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says 25 percent of the Russian combat units sent to Ukraine “have been rendered not combat effective,” and Russia has lost more than 2,000 armored vehicles and more than 60 helicopters and fighter planes.

Russia has acknowledged 1,351 military casualties.

Wallace says Russia had failed in most of its military objectives so far. He tells British lawmakers that “we anticipate this next phase of the invasion will be an attempt by Russia to occupy further the Donbas in order to connect it via Mariupol” to Russian-controlled Crimea. He says international aid and weapons are crucial to help Ukraine withstand the anticipated onslaught.

Wallace says Britain had sent more than 5,000 antitank missiles, as well as air-defense systems and anti-air missiles, and will soon send “a small number” of Stormer armored vehicles equipped with missile launchers.

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