In the early days of the war, there were regular peace negotiations and an assumption in many European capitals — Kyiv included — that Ukraine would have to surrender land to compel the Russians to end their assault.
Three months later, Russian missteps and a fierce and effective resistance have stiffened Ukrainian resolve. That was reflected in a poll released Tuesday by the Kyiv Institute of Sociology, which found that 82 percent of Ukrainians don’t want to give up any land to Russia in exchange for a deal. Only 10 percent said it would be worth surrendering territory in order to achieve peace.
Also this week, Ukraine’s culture minister said Russian forces have destroyed or damaged more than 350 cultural and historic sites since the war began. Churches, museums and other “monuments of national significance” have been damaged by bombings and shellfire, Oleksandr Tkachenko said, adding that the toll on Ukraine’s historic sites rises nearly every day. It’s now common to see old monuments ringed by sandbags and metal cages, while wood paneling covers stained glass windows at many of the country’s churches. “We are already working with international partners on a plan,” Tkachenko said, “to protect our cultural heritage.”
Grid’s reporting is based on the best available data and reporting; in some cases, we explained a range of figures or the reason we chose one over another. We originally published this document on March 24 and will update it every Thursday as long as the war persists.
Civilians killed: more than 3,942
The actual toll is much higher, the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights conceded. Officials in Mariupol said the toll there alone is more than five times what the U.N. suggests. Most of the deaths have been caused by shelling and rocket attacks on civilian areas, the United Nations observed. (updated May 24; source)
In an April 15 interview, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy estimated Ukrainian military losses at 2,500 to 3,000. U.S. intelligence officials put the number higher, at 5,500 to 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since the invasion. (updated April 20; source, source)
Ukraine has raised its estimate of Russian soldiers killed in the conflict to 27,000. A recent review of public reporting, including Russian government statements, found 1,744 disclosed deaths of Russian troops, including 317 officers. Russian officials, motivated to report fewer losses, had earlier claimed 1,351 troop losses. NATO estimated Russian troop losses at between 7,000 and 15,000. While the official Kremlin toll of Russian soldiers killed is roughly 10 times lower than NATO and Ukrainian estimates, spokesman Dimitry Peskov said there have been “significant losses of troops, and it’s a huge tragedy for us.” (updated May 25; source, source, source)
Russian generals killed: 8-13
A retired Russian general was reportedly shot down over Luhansk this week — by Ukrainian counts the 13th Russian general to be killed in Ukraine. Previously, the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that between eight and 10 Russian generals have been killed in Ukraine. Grid’s Tom Nagorski and Joshua Keating previously reported on the possible explanations for this “inconceivable” toll: poor communications and command-and-control structures within the Russian military. (updated May 25; source, source)
Total displaced Ukrainians: more than 14 million
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported 6.3 million fleeing the country. The International Organization for Migration’s latest survey of internally displaced Ukrainians found that the number had surpassed 8 million. (updated May 24; source, source)