Ukraine said Thursday that over 26,000 people, including many civilians, were still unaccounted for since Russia launched its full-scale invasion last year.
The number of officially missing people is difficult to estimate, as Russian forces still occupy around a fifth of the country and neither side regularly releases data on military casualties.
“As of now, more than 26,000 people are wanted and are missing under special circumstances. Of these, 11,000 are civilians and about 15,000 are military personnel,” deputy interior minister Leonid Tymchenko said on national television.
This only includes people whose data has been officially verified, interior ministry spokeswoman Mariana Reva told AFP, adding that the “figures could grow.”
Large swathes of Ukrainian territory have remained under Russian occupation since the beginning of the war, which has devastated whole towns and cities and killed thousands.
Russia launched its invasion in February 2022.
Ukraine began a counteroffensive to take back occupied territory in June but has acknowledged slow progress as its forces encounter lines of heavily-fortified Russian defenses.
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