According to the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's armed forces, nearly 9,000 military personnel from Kiev's side have been killed since the start of Russia's attacks in February.

Zaluzhnyi provided no details and did not say whether the figure he cited included all service personnel killed in action, such as border guards.
Zaluzhnyi provided no details and did not say whether the figure he cited included all service personnel killed in action, such as border guards. (AP)

Nearly 9,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed in the conflict with Russia, the head of Ukraine's armed forces said.

The toll given by General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi on Monday appeared to be the first provided by Ukraine's military top brass since Russia's attacks began on February 24.

Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's armed forces, told a conference held to honour military veterans and the families of those killed that children needed protection in several parts of the country, including the capital Kiev.

"They really do not understand anything that is going on and definitely need protection... because their father has gone to the front and possibly is among the almost 9,000 heroes who have been killed," he said.

Zaluzhnyi provided no details and did not say whether the figure he cited included all service personnel killed in action, such as border guards.

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Losses suffered on both sides

President Volodymr Zelenkskyy told the conference that about one million people were defending Ukraine as part of Ukraine's armed forces or other services.

Zaluzhnyi did not say how many civilians had been killed or how many Russian personnel Kiev estimated had been killed in the fighting, but the General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces has put the Russian military death toll at 45,400.

Russia has not said how many of its soldiers have been killed.

The losses suffered have not been verified on both sides, in what Russia says is a "special military operation" to demilitarise its smaller neighbour and protect Russian-speaking communities.

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Source: Reuters