LONDON (Reuters) -Russia suffered fewer casualties in Ukraine after its invasion narrowed in scale but the numbers are still quite high and it is having a significant impact on the will to fight of Russian forces, western officials said on Friday.
Having failed in an assault on Kyiv in the north of Ukraine last month, Russia is now trying to fully capture two eastern provinces known as the Donbas.
“The nature of the operations have been reduced in terms of geographic spread so the overall numbers are reducing,” one of the officials said on Russian casualties.
“But the level of casualties that we’re seeing in terms of those areas where they are engaging Ukrainian forces are still remaining quite high.”
Asked about Ukrainian casualties, he said there had been Ukrainian losses in the Donbas.
“They are taking some losses (but) certainly not at the sort of scale that Russian forces are taking,” the official said.
He added: “Those losses on Russian forces, we assessed to be having a significant impact on the will to fight of wider Russian forces, but the Ukrainian losses are not affecting the morale of the Ukrainian forces.”
The officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, gave no figures and it was not immediately possible to verify their statements.
Russia, which says it launched a “special operation” to demilitarise its neighbour, has not updated its official casualty figures in several weeks.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Kate Holton and Philippa Fletcher)