Na meeting with family members regarding Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated today, Putin said that he will meet on Monday with minister Serguei Shoigu and that he will talk about the issue, according to the Spanish agency EFE.

The number of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine since Putin ordered the invasion of the neighboring country on February 24, 2022, is unknown.

The Russian Ministry of Defense last reported the number of casualties in the ranks of the Russian army in September 2022, when it put the death toll at 5,937.

According to independent Russian media, more than 40,000 Russian soldiers died in the 22 months of fighting, while NATO estimates Russian casualties – killed, wounded and maimed – at more than 300,000.

Recently, a group of wives and families of reservists appealed to Putin to suspend mobilization indefinitely.

Putin celebrated Orthodox Christmas in the company of family members of soldiers killed in the war against Ukraine, which has entered its third year.

The Russian leader began by meeting with “the heroes’ families” at the country residence in Novo-Ogariovo where they later attended the Christmas ceremony together in a small chapel.

Putin said the meeting was “a clear and understandable signal” for Russian officials to support in every possible way the families of soldiers who “fight heroically” in defense of “the country’s interests.”

As is tradition, Putin also today congratulated Russians on Orthodox Christmas, which, he said, “unites millions of people around the ideals of kindness, compassion and justice.”

A year ago, Putin unilaterally declared a 36-hour Christmas truce, which was rejected by Ukraine.

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