France estimates that 150,000 Russian soldiers have been killed during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said in an interview published on Friday.

Speaking to Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe, Séjourné said Paris estimated total Russian casualties, including the wounded, at 500,000 in the war, now in its third year.

“Europe and its partners will remain united and determined for as long as necessary. Russia’s military failure is already apparent. We estimate Russian military losses at 500,000, including 150,000 deaths,” he said.

“All of this for what?” he asked. “This can be summed up in two words: for nothing,” he said.

Russia has not disclosed information on its casualties.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in February that 180,000 Russian troops had been killed in the war.

Britain estimates that approximately 450,000 Russians have been killed or wounded in Ukraine.

The BBC reported in April that more than 50,000 Russian military personnel have died, citing its own reporters, independent media group Mediazona, and volunteers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” at dawn on February 24, 2022, which has since turned into a bloody attrition war, isolating Russia from the West.

Some military analysts believe that Russia could be on the verge of launching a major new offensive in Ukraine.

Speaking about frozen Russian assets in the European Union, Séjourné reaffirmed that the funds could be used to fund the defense of Ukraine against the invasion but did not give specifics.

“With the rise in rates, these assets have generated almost 4 billion euros in revenue in 2023. We want them to be used to finance defense and reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.”

Novaya Gazeta Europe was founded by exiled journalists from Russia’s top independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

With AFP