Russia loses 899 soldiers a day in complete disregard for the lives of its own soldiers: UK statement to the OSCE

UK military advisor, Nicholas Aucott, says Russia’s human wave attacks are a grotesque approach that demonstrates the depths to which Putin will go to prop up Russian elite.

Thank you, Mr Chair. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues to present the gravest security challenge in the history of this organisation. Having violated the principles of the OSCE, the Helsinki Final Act and the United Nations Charter, Russia continues its aggressive actions for the sole benefit of an autocratic Russian elite.

For the civilian population of Ukraine, they have been forced to endure untold hardship, misery, and death as Russia strikes civilian and critical national infrastructure with imprecise munitions. Last week a Russian airstrike targeted the city centre of Odesa, killing five people and injuring 30. Meanwhile, the relentless bombardment of Kharkiv continues, resulting in daily casualties, regular power outages and interruptions in water and heating supply.  It is our collective responsibility to remain strong in our resolve, our collective responsibility to stand up to this heinous act of aggression, to defend those against such acts of tyranny.

As Russia continues its attacks around Chasiv Yar, it does so utilising Storm-Z penal units, wasting lives in a grotesque approach that typifies the depths to which President Putin’s regime is prepared to go. Now, out of a pre-war population of 12,500, only 682 civilians remain in Chasiv Yar, with no running water or power supply for over a year.

For Russia, beyond the attempts to benefit a small elite, the impact on its own military is appalling. Throughout April 2024, the pattern of Russian casualties followed the pattern we have seen so far throughout this year with an average loss of 899 soldiers per day, bringing Russian total casualties to over 465,000. Mr Chair, not only is this an act of aggression against a sovereign nation, it also is a testament to the contempt in which Putin regards his own people and the lengths to which he is prepared to go.

Putin believes that momentum is on Russia’s side. Putin has forced Russia’s economy onto a war footing, and he continues to push on, regardless of the catastrophic cost to his own people. Putin believes he can outpace and outwait the West; however, nothing could be further from the truth.

The resolve of the United Kingdom and its partners to support Ukraine will remain steadfast. In January the Prime Minister announced an unshakeable 100 year partnership between the UK and Ukraine.  Furthermore, the British Foreign Secretary, following his recent visit to Ukraine, has announced a further package of support of £3bn per year ‘for as long as is necessary’, in addition to a £36m package in support of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, and investment in future innovations to support Ukraine’s energy transition and recovery.

Mr Chair, we must be in no doubt, if the free world were to falter and Putin to succeed, it would embolden him to use aggression elsewhere, against all our interests, and encourage other authoritarian regimes to threaten neighbours and use violence to achieve their objectives. Putin must not be allowed to subjugate Ukraine and dictate a world defined by danger, disorder, division and disinformation. As the war ploughs into its third year, we will not allow the international agenda to solidify on Kremlin terms.

The courage and resolve of the Ukrainian people and the bravery of their Armed Forces have impressed the world; they remain resilient and focused on liberating all their territory temporarily under Russian control. Ukraine has shown that with the right support it can defend itself, and the United Kingdom is, and will remain, unequivocally committed to standing steadfast by Ukraine in the face of Russia’s act of aggression. Thank you.

Published 8 May 2024