David Arakhamia, leader of the ruling Servant of the People party, said Ukraine’s casualties in the ongoing Russian invasion are “much smaller” than the 100,000 mark many believed Ukraine to have surpassed.

“When you go out and ask people about losses, I’ve never heard less than 100,000. [But] our losses are much lower,” said Arakhamia during a panel discussion, as reported by LB.UA.

He said he suggested President Volodymyr Zelensky declassify the number to reassure the public, but the president has not made up his mind yet.

“Realizing Ukraine’s real losses in the war will show that they are not as great as they themselves imagine,” said Arakhamia.

Close to two years after the full-scale invasion started, some Ukrainians remained skeptical of joining the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU).

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Recent talks of a fresh wave of mobilization have generated much debate in and out of the parliament, and a new draft bill that aimed to mobilize as many as 500,000 soldiers to replenish the ranks has undergone multiple rejections and revisions in recent weeks.

Many politicians, including Arakhamia, believe in further mobilization but considered the initial draft bill submitted by the military to be problematic, with Arakhamia criticizing some provisions for “directly [violating] human rights,” while some were “not optimally formulated.”

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According to government sources, over 3,000 convicts have expressed their willingness to join the military following the recent enactment of a law facilitating this recruitment.

He said mobilizations should be carried out diligently, and the authorities should take the person’s skills, education and roles in civilian life into consideration.

“People want to see that the state will take care of them properly,” he said.

He also proposed lawmakers to participate in part-time military training.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine have disclosed the official death tolls of their own troops during the ongoing invasion.

The Ukrainian military has so far refrained from disclosing the combat losses as it said Russia could “draw many conclusions from this data and use this information for analysis and planning.”

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A report from a civic group in November placed the number at more than 30,000, while the New York Times published an estimate of 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed in the war in August, citing anonymous US officials.

At the time of writing, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense placed the number of Russian casualties at 380,600 using battlefield photos and footage.

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