KIEV – In what was described as the worst defeat of Ukrainian forces in their war against pro-Russian militants, at least 200 soldiers were killed last month in fighting in eastern Ukraine, the country’s prosecutor general Vitaliy Yarema said on Wednesday.
“No fewer than 200 men were killed around Ilovaisk,” Yarioma said when answering a press conference question about the Ukrainian casualties in the fighting that took place during the last week of August in the town in the region of Donetsk.
The attorney general said that an investigation was underway into whether the high number of fatalities “was due to objective circumstances or was the result of errors in the command of the military units.”
Yarioma explained that military prosecutors questioned many officers, among them the chief of the military’s general staff Viktor Muzhenko and the commander of the South military group, Lieutenant-General Peter Litvin Mikhailovich.
The fighting in Ilovaisk coincided with the beginning of a counteroffensive by the pro-Russian militias, which, according to Kiev, included Russian regular troops, and forced the Ukrainian forces to withdraw.