Russian troop fatalities in Ukraine nearing losses over 10 years in Afghanistan

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NATO estimated Wednesday that Russian forces have lost 7,000 to 15,000 soldiers in the war with Ukraine, an estimate on par with the 15,000 troops Russia lost over the course of a decade in Afghanistan.

A senior NATO military official told The Associated Press that the figure was based on information from Ukrainian authorities, intelligence from open sources and what Russia has released, both intentionally and unintentionally.

But Russian forces have only been in Ukraine for four weeks compared to 10 years in Afghanistan.

The death toll has already exceeded the U.S. military's losses in the first 18 years of the Afghanistan war, when just over 7,000 troops were killed.

Despite sending over 150,000 troops into Ukraine, Russia has made limited progress with its ground forces in recent weeks. It has also lost six generals in the war, according to Ukrainian and Western officials.

As for Ukrainian losses, President Volodymr Zelensky said two weeks ago that roughly 1,300 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed. Neither Ukraine or the West have offered estimates of its losses since.

But Zelensky has appealed to the world for support of his country since the invasion began on Feb. 24.

"Come to your squares, your streets. Make yourselves visible and heard," Zelensky said in English in an address recorded in Kyiv. "Say that people matter. Freedom matters. Peace matters. Ukraine matters."

He also spoke in Russian, asking Russian people "to leave Russia so as not to give your tax money to the war."