Russia has suffered more losses in the 26 days since the start of their full-scale invasion of Ukraine than the Soviet army did over the course of a decade (1979-1989) in Afghanistan, data shared by the Ukrainian defense ministry has shown.
The infographic released by the defense ministry shows that the official Soviet army losses in Afghanistan amounted to 15,051 personnel, whereas the losses currently suffered by the Russian army in Ukraine amount to around 15,300 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych on Wednesday said he expected the active phase of the Russian invasion to be over by the end of April as the Russian advance had already stalled in many areas.
Speaking on local television, Arestovych said Russia had already lost 40% of its attacking forces, and also played down the prospect of Russia waging nuclear war. Reuters could not independently verify his statements.
Adviser to the President's Office Oleksiy Arestovych said on March 22 that, according to preliminary data, Ukrainian forces had shot down the 100th Russian plane over Mariupol, and two more enemy planes had been shot down over the Dnipropetrovsk region.
Oksana Baulina, a journalist for the Russian The Insider, was killed in Russian shelling in Kyiv, according to Ukrainian media.
Poland's special services asked the foreign ministry on Wednesday to expel 45 Russian diplomats, some of whom were alleged to be working for the secret services under the cover of diplomatic work, spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn said.
A government spokesman said the Russian ambassador had been summoned to the foreign ministry and decisions on further steps would be announced after the meeting.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said sending peacekeepers to Ukraine may lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the NATO military alliance.
Poland last week said an international peacekeeping mission should be sent to Ukraine and be given the means to defend itself.
Russia's Defence Ministry on Wednesday said Russian forces had hit a Ukrainian arms depot outside the country's northwestern city of Rivne on Tuesday, destroying an arsenal of weapons and equipment.
The ministry said it had struck the depot using high-precision, long-range weapons fired from the sea.
An agreement has been reached to try to evacuate civilians trapped in Ukrainian towns and cities through nine "humanitarian corridors" on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.
Signaling no agreement had been reached with Russia to establish a safe corridor from the heart of Mariupol, she said people wishing to leave the besieged port city would find transport in nearby Berdyansk.
The governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine said an agreement had been reached on a local ceasefire to evacuate civilians trapped by fighting.
Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on the Telegram messaging app that the ceasefire would come into force at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT).
Some 300 Ukrainian children with cancer and their relatives were evacuated to clinics in Europe, the US and Canada, Ukraine's First Lady Elena Zelensky told Le Parisien in an interview.
A total of 4,554 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Wednesday, a senior official said, considerably fewer than managed to escape the previous day.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office, said in an online post that 2,912 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol in private vehicles. On Tuesday, he said 8,057 people had managed to escape from cities across the country.