So many Putin soldiers really died in the Ukraine war

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began more than 500 days ago. Both Ukraine and Russia have suffered high casualties, but the exact number of dead soldiers differs widely.

It is believed that the Russian Ministry of Defense has precise information on its own losses. However, it has not commented on the matter since September 21, 2022. Most recently, it was said that only 5,937 Russian soldiers had been killed up to that point.

According to joint research by the Russian news portals “Meduza” and “Mediazona”, which are critical of the Kremlin, the number could be much higher: According to this, around 47,000 Russian soldiers are said to have died in the invasion by the end of May 2023. According to Meduza, this would mean that in the 15 months of fighting, from February 2022 to the end of May 2023, three times more Russian soldiers died in Ukraine than Soviet troops died in the ten years of the war in Afghanistan.

Estimate of 40,000 to 55,000 fallen soldiers

The investigation, according to Meduza, draws on existing reports of published obituaries, death dates from the State Statistics Service and extensive records from the National Probate Registry. From this it was deduced that between 40,000 and 55,000 Russian men under the age of 50 could have fallen in Ukraine by May 27, 2023. If one takes into account the number of men who were so badly wounded that they did not return to military service, Russia’s total rises to at least 125,000 soldiers.

Other portals come up with slightly lower numbers. According to reports from the British “BBC” and American sources, the number of dead could be between 30,000 and 40,000. In a previous analysis, the Russian portal “Mediazona” listed 26,400 identified fallen Russian soldiers.

Unusually high number of reports from Krasnodar region

The portal also offers detailed information about the origin of the fallen. About 1,000 of the fallen came from the Sverdlovsk Oblast in the Asian part of Russia. Interestingly, this figure was significantly lower not long ago, suggesting that there may have been increased recruitment on the ground recently.

The second highest number of war deaths comes from the Krasnodar Territory. This region borders the Black Sea and is directly connected to the annexed Crimea via the Kerch Bridge. Mediazona reports that the unusually high number of reports of dead people from the Krasnodar region is due to the fact that local volunteers often visit cemeteries to photograph new graves. This will make more fallen soldiers public knowledge.

Fewer fallen soldiers recorded in major Russian cities

It is also noticeable that, in comparison, fewer than average soldiers come from large Russian cities, according to “Mediazona”. The exact reasons for this remain unclear for the time being.

The portal determined its numbers by bringing together information from publicly available sources. This includes social media posts by relatives, reports in local media and statements by local authorities. Only confirmed cases of fallen soldiers are included in the statistics.

Actual losses of Russia difficult to determine

However, according to Meduza, actual Russian losses during the war remain difficult to ascertain because many friends and relatives would never write publicly about a loved one killed in Ukraine for fear of prosecution. In addition, the Russian obituary database records only Russian citizens, while foreign nationals also serve in the Russian army – including thousands of soldiers mobilized in the proxy units of the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” in Luhansk and Donetsk.

In addition, Russia released large numbers of prisoners to fight in Ukraine. Their deaths would be much less likely to be reported online and in the media. In addition, according to Meduza, there is no public register for missing soldiers in Russia, as is the case in Ukraine. Many killed Russian fighters, whose bodies were never found or transferred, have only recently appeared in the public death statistics.

Nevertheless, the investigations show that the actual number of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine is apparently far higher than the official figures.

Hank Peter

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *