Nearly 180,000 Russians have been killed or injured since the war in Ukraine began in February last year, according to Norway’s army chief, Eirik Kristoffersen.
In an interview with TV2, General Kristoffersen said the figure on the side of the Ukrainians is 100,000 military casualties and 30,000 dead civilians, although he did not specify how the numbers were calculated.
Norway, a country bordering Russia, has been a member of NATO since its founding in 1949.
In November, US army joint chiefs of staff chairman Mark Milley said the Russian army had suffered more than 100,000 dead or wounded, with a “probably” similar toll on the Ukrainian side.
These figures cannot be independently verified, and Moscow and Kyiv have not provided reliable accounts of their losses for months.
Despite heavy losses, “Russia is able to continue [this war] for quite a long time,” General Kristoffersen said on Sunday, citing Moscow’s mobilisation and arms-production capacities.
“What worries most is whether Ukraine is going to be able to keep the Russian air force out of the war,” he said, adding that it had been able to so far “thanks to Ukrainian anti-aircraft defences”.
The bulk of Russian strikes in recent months have been carried out by long-range missiles.
The Norwegian general also called for the rapid delivery of combat tanks to Ukraine, which has so far been held up mainly by Germany.
“If they’re going to go on the offensive in the winter, they (the Ukrainians) need it fast,” General Kristoffersen added.
A recent ABC report says despite urgent appeals from Ukraine and several European countries, Berlin refused on Friday to supply its Leopard tanks to Kyiv.
The heavy tanks are present in the ranks of several other European nations, including Norway, but their delivery to Ukraine is, in theory, subject to the German green light.