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Former Deputy Defense Minister explains why Ukraine does not disclose war losses

6 February, 2024 Tuesday
18:40

Ukraine's former Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar said that safety of the military is one of the reasons why the government does not disclose the number of Ukrainians killed at the front

She said this in an interview with Espreso.

When asked whether she shares the idea of David Arakhamia, leader of the Servant of the People faction, who is trying to convince Zelenskyy to publish data on Ukraine's losses in the full-scale war, Malyar said that at first she did not understand the motives for hiding this information from the public until the military explained it to her.

She emphasized that the issue of concealing the number of Ukrainian casualties is not about freedom of speech or people's access to information. The primary reason for this is that "the military, when planning their operations, rely on information about the number of combat-ready people in adversary units".

"They have limits on how many per cent are already incapacitated - both the killed and the wounded are equally incapacitated for them. When there is a battle or an operation is planned, they count the number of units, and they calculate the losses for themselves to determine what other tasks this unit can be sent to," explained the former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, adding that knowing the conditional number of losses, the enemy calculates the capabilities of the unit to be attacked.

Malyar noted that Russia also hides its casualty figures from Ukraine. However, given that Kyiv is also fighting Russia on the information front, Ukraine publishes their figures.

"This is our war with them. But the military asks us not to disclose our figures, it's a state secret, that's why I'm explaining it."

In addition, Malyar explained the background of the case in 2022, when the Commander-in-Chief announced the number of Ukrainian losses - 9,000 dead.

"We had civic initiatives that believed that the state did not want to say how many people died. So they started collecting information from the relatives of the killed. Although this information cannot be concealed after the victory, because it is payments. And they came up with a similar figure in comparison with our data" she said.

Then, according to Malyar, the authorities had to publish the number of casualties to prevent similar cases in the future, as it would be "very dangerous for the Armed Forces themselves"

"So they decided that they would say this, and then explain to the public that these figures should not be announced, because it is important for the military. And then we carried out an information campaign, and tried to explain the best we could," stated the former Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine.

  • On 22 August 2022, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said that almost 9,000 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed in the war with Russia. 
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