The White House has estimated Russia has lost 100,000 troops over the last five months for no significant strategic gains.

 “We estimate that Russia has suffered more than 100,000 casualties, including over 20,000 killed in action,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday.

 “Russia's attempt at an offensive in the Donbass, largely through Bakhmut, has failed... Russia has been unable to seize any really strategically significant territory,” Kirby said.

 Are the figures accurate?

 Both Kyiv and Moscow regularly make claims about the numbers of enemy personnel their forces have taken out of action, while confirmation of their own losses is far harder to come by.

 As such, the public has been largely left relying on statements from authorities in other countries in order to paint a picture of the toll the war is taking on each side’s troops.


 Kirby was citing newly declassified US intelligence and did not go into detail about sources or methods of data collection.

 Did he give any other details about the figures?

 Kirby said that about half of those killed were soldiers recruited by the private military company Wagner, which draws much of its ranks from prison populations in Russia.

 The toll from fighting – with the most intense battle being for Bakhmut, where Ukrainian troops have been driven from all but a sliver of the city – accounts for losses since the start of December, according to the US figures.

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 “This attempted effort, particularly in Bakhmut, has come at a terribly, terribly high cost. Russia has exhausted its military stockpiles and its armed forces,” Kirby said.

 Did he give any figures for Ukrainian losses?

 Kirby said he was not giving estimates of Ukrainian casualties because “they are the victims here. Russia is the aggressor.”

 The White House will not put “information in the public domain that makes it any harder for the close Western ally, whose army is being armed and trained by a US-led coalition of countries,” he said.


 Do the figures align with previous estimates?

 In February, a report in The New York Times which, citing “American and other Western officials,” claimed 200,000 Russian troops have been killed and wounded since Feb. 24 of last year.

 In January, Norway’s Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen said: “Russian losses are beginning to approach around 180,000 dead or wounded soldiers.

 “Ukrainian losses are probably over 100,000 dead or wounded.

 “In addition, Ukraine has about 30,000 civilians who have died in this terrible war."

 Before this, in November, US military Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said the Russian army had suffered more than 100,000 dead or wounded, with a “probably” similar toll on the Ukrainian side.

 Has Ukraine or Russia released any official figures?

 In December Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said official estimates of the number of Ukrainian troops killed “range from 10,000 … to 13,000” but did not give a figure for the number of wounded.


 Podolyak did say that Zelensky would make the official data public “when the right moment comes,” but had no idea when that might be.

 Official figures from Russia are underestimated to the point of ridiculousness.

 The country’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in September said 5,937 Russian troops had been killed in the nearly seven months of fighting to that point.

 As this was the last official statement on the matter, it is technically still the Kremlin’s official figure.

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