© David Young/picture alliance/Getty ImagesFlags fly over the graves of killed soldiers.
The president's claim that just 31,000 Ukrainian troops were killed in action obfuscates reality, according to magazine interview...

Ukrainian frontline casualties are far higher than the country's leadership is willing to admit, according to The New Yorker.

The American magazine published a deep dive on Monday into frontline realities of the Ukraine conflict, based on observations by reporter Luke Mogelson while embedded in a Ukrainian unit in January. He mentioned hearing of an acquaintance, an infantry officer with whom he'd worked on another story, who had since been killed, to which Mogelson replied that the best Ukrainian men appeared to be dying these days.
"Everyone dies here. The best, the worst. We remember the bright, strong personalities. Everyone else just fades into nothingness."
The report's source went on to compare Vladimir Zelensky to Pinocchio, the children's-book character whose nose grows when he tells lies.

The source dismissed the president's claim in February that only 31,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed in action. That figure didn't include those missing in action, who constitute "a huge part of our losses," the officer told The New Yorker.

Zelensky cited the figure during a press conference to contrast it with Russian estimates of Ukrainian casualties, which he described as "lies that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his two-faced associates tell."

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu put Ukrainian military losses since January at over 80,000, in an update last week. Last month he said that total Ukrainian casualties since the hostilities started in February 2022 had surpassed 444,000.

The New Yorker's correspondent followed the exploits of the 1st Separate Assault Battalion of Ukraine's 59th Infantry Brigade. The unit is also known as Da Vinci Wolves, after its former commander, Dmitry 'Da Vinci ' Kotsubailo. The far-right activist-turned-military-leader was killed in action in March 2023.

His replacement, Sergey Filimonov, a fellow Ukrainian nationalist, took charge in February. Some of his latest posts on social media have celebrated the killings of Russian concert-goers in the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall venue last month.