Muzhenko: Ukraine could lose 12,000 soldiers in 10 days in Donbas power struggle

Chief of General Staff of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko pointed out that the Armed Forces are ready for a forceful resolution of the Donbas issue, if the matter is considered in terms of weaponry and control systems. According to preliminary estimates, ten days of an operation using aircraft could result in the loss of 10-12,000 soldiers, 3,000 of whom will be killed. He explained this to reporters on Thursday, Ukrayinska Pravda reports.

However, Muzhenko doubts that the Ukrainian society is ready for a forceful resolution. He estimates a further 10,000 civilian casualties in addition to the loss of soldiers.

Muzhenko explained that, according to estimates during drills, taking into account the possible number of forces on the Ukrainian and Russian sides, in a power struggle the Ukrainian army has enough forces to react adequately not only in the East, but along the entire border with Russia.

When talking about the possible introduction of a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, he mentioned that this would be virtually impossible to do through the UN Security Council, since Russia – a permanent member of the council – could veto it.

He also said that another problematic matter is that of who receives the mandate to conduct the peacekeeping operation. Russia will not consent to a NATO mandate, and Ukraine will not consent to a CSTO mandate.

According to Muzhenko, both the US and Canada are prepared to send their contingent to Ukraine, but it is unclear whether Russia will consent to this. He estimates that the contingent could number in the thousands.

  War in Ukraine, Donbas, Muzhenko, Ukraine, UN peacekeeping mission