NICOLA Sturgeon has deleted a tweet in which she responded to the deaths of 41,170 Russian personnel with a strength emoji and “solidarity” hashtag.

The First Minister reacted to a post from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence which quoted Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns while celebrating the “total combat losses of the enemy” from the beginning of Russia’s invasion to the current date.

The department quoted the poet’s line: “Tyrants fall in every foe! Liberty’s in every blow! – Let us do or die!”

The SNP leader shared the breakdown of losses faced by Russia, which included tens of thousands of soldiers killed and a huge number of destroyed weaponry and military equipment, with a Ukrainian flag and an emoji of a strong bicep.

She added: “#robertburns #solidarity.”

The First Minister’s approach was criticised by journalists, politicians and a number of independence supporters. Within around four hours, the post was deleted.

Mercedes Villalba, Labour MSP for the North East Scotland region, wrote: “The First Minister of Scotland should not be glorifying war.

“It is possible to oppose Putin's invasion of Ukraine without celebrating the deaths of 41,000 people.

“Take down the post and apologise for this lapse in judgement. This is not what solidarity means.”

The National:

Meanwhile, Alba general secretary Chris McEleny commented: “As First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon should reflect on her tweet. There are no good wars.

“There may be wars that result in the best possible outcome but nothing that happens in or during war is good.

“It is condemnable that world leaders are not putting as much, if any effort, towards finding a peaceful settlement that protects human life and ends the displacement of millions of people.

“It is not a good thing that over 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, this is a tragedy of war, one that should be regretted as a bitter consequence of the illegal invasion.”

READ MORE: Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik thanks 'friend' Scotland for military aid

The former councillor added that Scotland should be a “beacon for peace in the world”.

He encouraged the First Minister to reflect on another Burns poem in the context of the war, quoting: “Ye Hypocrites, are these yer pranks / To murder men and gie God thanks / Desist for shame, proceed no further / God won’t accept your thanks for murder.”

One pro-independence account reacted to the post: “As much as I support indy this is just a bit too far.

“Supporting the death of 41,000 young men is just awful. Conscripted men that had little to no choice in fighting or not.”

The SNP have been contacted for comment.

Last month, the Scottish Government pledged £65 million to the war effort in Ukraine.

The contribution made up part of the £1bn in funding that the UK Government is providing to the Ukrainian military for state-of-the-art equipment, including air defence systems and kit for soldiers.

It follows the £4 million in financial aid sent to Ukraine by the Scottish Government for humanitarian assistance and a further £3m for medical supplies.