How many Russian soldiers have died in the war in Ukraine?

By | March 22, 2022

The Guardian reports:

It has been three weeks since Russia updated the official death toll to its invasion in Ukraine, leaving open the question of how many of its soldiers have been killed or wounded in the chaotic opening stages of its war.

In early March, the Russian defence ministry admitted that 498 Russian soldiers had been killed in action and 1,500 wounded, a large number after just 10 days of fighting that pointed to the danger of its attempts to take Kyiv in a lightning raid.

Critics said the official government numbers should be treated with scepticism. And US and Ukrainian officials have since claimed that Russia has suffered 10, 20 or 30 times as many casualties, claiming that Russian losses could rival the wars in Chechnya or Afghanistan. And amid an information vacuum in Russia, rumours have spread over the hundreds, or thousands more, who have been killed in the ensuing weeks.

“It’s almost a state secret,” said a Russian military commentator who asked not to be quoted by name to discuss the issue. “We don’t know exactly [how many people have died] … at the given moment, it’s better to discuss other questions.”

Russian news outlets continuing to operate inside the country have largely stopped reporting on the death toll from the war, as censors have forbidden any discussion that calls the conflict a “war” or “invasion”.

But on Monday, the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which frequently posts pro-Kremlin news reports, published a bombshell buried deep in a news story about the war: “According to Russian defence ministry data … 9,861 Russian soldiers had been killed in action and another 16,153 had been wounded.”

Just minutes later, the line was gone. No other Russian news agencies reported the remarks, and it was not clear why Komsomolskaya Pravda alone would have access to that information. [Continue reading…]

The Guardian reports:

Russian forces have only three further days of fuel, food and ammunition left to conduct the war after a breakdown in their supply chains, Ukrainian military commanders have alleged.

The claims of major shortages were described as “plausible” by western officials although they said they were unable to corroborate the analysis.

The report from the Ukrainian armed forces general command was said to be consistent with evidence that the Russian advance had stalled, and that they had reverted to using “indiscriminate and attritional” artillery attacks on civilians.

“We do think that the Russian forces have used a lot of material including particular categories of weapons and we have seen isolated reports of particular units that have lacked supplies of one sort or another,” the official said.

“It is consistent with an advance which has ground to a halt. Failures in the logistic chain has been one of the reasons they have not been as effective as they hoped.”

A Pentagon official added there were continuing morale issues among Russian troops, with food and fuel shortages, as well as frostbite due to a lack of adequate clothing. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email