EU refuses to apologize for deleted post about Ukrainian casualties
In a video published on Twitter on Wednesday, von Der Leyen said that "more than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed” since the start of the conflict and that an estimated 20,000 civilians have died due to the fighting.
An EC spokesperson said on Thursday that the EU Commission sees "no need to apologize" to Ukraine over a tweet whose author, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, deleted shortly after it was posted.
The tweet, which EC spokesperson Dana Spinant was referring to, is one in which von der Leyen stated that the conflict in Ukraine cost the lives of 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers.
“We explained on social media the reasons and the context in which this was made,” Spinant stated during a press conference in Brussels on Thursday.
📹🇪🇺🇺🇦🇷🇺Comparison between the first video posted by Ursula von der Leyen and the second video that was cut pic.twitter.com/qntMDTCJ92— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) November 30, 2022
In a video published on Twitter on Wednesday, von der Leyen said, "More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed” since the start of the conflict and that an estimated 20,000 civilians have died due to the fighting.
Kiev quickly responded to the tweet saying that the death toll was "classified information" and subject to "restriction on publication."
Von der Leyen then re-uploaded her address but had references to Ukrainian casualties removed.
Spokesperson Dana Spinant later tweeted that the figure was inaccurate, admitting that the EC’s estimate, which was obtained from unnamed “external sources”, was meant to represent casualties, both killed and injured and was intended to show "Russia’s brutality".
Many thanks to those who pointed out the inaccuracy regarding the figures in a previous version of this video.— Dana Spinant (@DanaSpinant) November 30, 2022
The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia‘s brutality. https://t.co/GesDe7bK8v
During today's brief, Spinant repeatedly refused to disclose where von der Leyen acquired her sources about Ukrainian casualties.
Russia’s former President, Dmitry Medvedev slammed von der Leyen in a Tweet on November 30, accusing her of humiliating "self-censorship" and further accused the EU of acting as a puppet of the US.
Ursula the Wild Dame tweeted on Ukraine losing its “100.000 military” for all the world to see. The tweet’s been gutted and edited. Clearly, the Washington obkom called the dame to order, and didn’t go easy on her. Looks rather humiliating. There’s no EU, only the 51st State— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) November 30, 2022
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated in late September that Ukrainian fatalities amounted to more than 61,000 troops.
According to his estimates, at the initial stage, the armed forces of Ukraine amounted to 200,000-201,000 people. "They have 61,000 dead, 49,000 wounded. Half of the army is lost. They are in their fourth wave of mobilization. 300,000 have been mobilized," the Minister said.