The Kremlin responded to President Biden’s comment that he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin if Moscow was willing to end the invasion, saying that Russia would not give up the Ukrainian territory it has declared to be Russian land. “The special military operation is continuing,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday. In a statement, the Kremlin also accused blamed “Western states, including Germany,” for Kyiv’s refusal to negotiate with Russia, charging that they are “pumping up the Kyiv regime with weapons and training the Ukrainian military.” At a meeting Thursday in Washington, Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron affirmed their support for Ukraine and rejected Russia’s illegal annexations of Ukrainian territory.
Up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the war so far, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told state television. “We have official figures from the General Staff, we have official figures from the top command, and they amount to [between] 10,000 and 12,500 to 13,000 killed,” Podolyak told Kanal 24.
The figures could not be independently verified by The Washington Post. However, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last month that as many as 200,000 soldiers on both sides have been killed or wounded since the war began. Some 40,000 Ukrainian civilians have also died or been injured, Milley said, and as many as 30 million forced to flee their homes.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
Russia and Ukraine are fighting the first full-scale drone war: In the battle between Russia and Ukraine, drones are integrated into every phase of fighting, with extensive fleets, air defenses and jamming systems on each side, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Mary Ilyushina and Kostiantyn Khudov write from Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Drones have become so critical to battlefield success that at times they are used to take out other drones, they report. In past conflicts, drones were typically used by one side over largely uncontested airspace to locate and hit targets.
“Two main developments are going to impact future war,” said Samuel Bendett, a military analyst at the Virginia-based research group CNA. “The proliferation and availability of combat drones for longer-ranged, more-sophisticated operations, and the absolute necessity to have cheap tactical drones for close-support operations.”
Robyn Dixon contributed to this report.