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Zelensky claims Russia has already suffered more casualties in Ukraine than during Chechen wars

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed in a Monday night address that Russia has had more soldiers die in Ukraine over the last few weeks than it did in its two Chechen wars.

"Our brave defenders continue causing the Russian forces devastating losses," Zelensky said. "Very soon, the number of downed Russian helicopters will reach 100. They have already lost 80 military planes, hundreds of tanks, thousands of other military vehicles and equipment. In 19 days, the Russian army had more soldiers killed than in two bloody wars in Chechnya. What for?"

The first Chechen War was fought between 1994 and 1996, and the second between 1999 and 2009. The exact death tolls are not known, but The Guardian reports that the official estimate is that 5,732 Russians died during the first war and around 7,400 in the second war.

Zelensky made an appeal to Russian troops during his address, saying in Russian: "On behalf of the Ukrainian people, we give you a chance to live. If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you as humans have to be treated: with dignity. The way you have not been treated in your army. And the way your army doesn't treat our people. Choose."