The White House announced Monday that US intelligence estimates indicate that the losses of Russian forces in the battles in Ukraine since December have amounted to 20,000 dead and 80,000 wounded.
“Our estimates indicate that since December, Russia has counted more than 100,000 dead and wounded, including 20,000 killed in battle,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, during a press conference.
Kirby explained that half of those killed belonged to Russia’s private military group, Wagner, and the majority of them were former prisoners “thrown into combat in Bakhmut without adequate military training or leadership”.
Kirby pointed out that the conclusion is that Russia’s attack backfired on it.
On the other hand, Kirby refused to make any statement about the losses incurred by Ukraine, which supported by a Western coalition led by the United States in its response to the Russian invasion.
He said, “It is up to them to talk about this matter or not… I won’t say anything that would make it difficult for them… They are the victims, and Russia is the aggressor”.
In recent weeks, most of the battles in Ukraine have been concentrated in the Donbas region, especially in Bakhmut, the almost completely destroyed industrial city, of which Russian forces assert that they now control 80% of it.
For his part, US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed today, Monday, his strong support for providing assistance to Ukraine in its war against the Russian invasion, in the midst of a heated dialogue between him and a correspondent of a Russian news agency in Jerusalem.
McCarthy has previously called for greater scrutiny of aid to Ukraine in response to far-right members of the Republican Party who have criticized US support for Kiev.
The former US President Donald Trump, the frontrunner to be the Republican candidate again in the 2024 US presidential election, also made statements criticizing US efforts to defend Ukraine.
A reporter of a Russian news agency asked the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, who is currently on a visit to Israel, whether the United States would limit aid to Ukraine.
McCarthy said, “I vote for Ukraine, and I support aid to Ukraine, and I do not support what your country did to Ukraine, and I do not support your killing of children either”,
He continued by saying, “You must withdraw, and we will continue to support”.
McCarthy’s comments come as his party seeks to cut discretionary spending by $130 billion next year and $4.8 trillion over a decade, as part of a standoff over raising the US debt limit.
According to the State Department, the United States has provided $35 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told the Israeli knesset, Monday, “As long as I am Speaker, America will continue to support the full funding of security assistance to Israel”.
Bloomberg quoted McCarthy as saying that Congress is ready to work with Israel to expand the scope of the so-called Abraham Accords.
McCarthy also said that the United States must remain firm in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon forever.
The current spending bill in the United States includes the allocation of a total of 3.3 billion dollars for security aid to Israel in the fiscal year 2023.