The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Thursday, May 25, gave a figure for the number of Russian soldiers killed during Putin’s illegal invasion as being 205,260. How true is this information? 

The only casualty figures currently available to Russians are those produced by Ukrainian official sources. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has not released any reports on Russian army losses since September 2022, when he gave a figure of 5,937 deaths. 

In early May, the US National Security Council strategic communications coordinator, John Kirby, said that in 2023 alone, Russia had lost 100,000 soldiers killed or wounded. In response, on May 2, Russian presidential secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that "the information was taken from the ceiling, the United States does not have verified data." He also added that it is necessary to focus only on those figures that "the Russian Defense Ministry publishes." 


Perhaps more critical than the total high level of losses, of regular soldiers and those from private military companies, is the influence they are having on demographic indicators of the country. For example, the Russian publication Mediazona, together with the BBC and a team of volunteers, maintains a list of those Russian soldiers who have died in the war, but only includes those whose deaths have been publicly reported.

The Mediazona team, assessed that casualties, aged from 20 to 24, as confirmed in open sources, accounted for around a third of all deaths of Russian men in 2022. 

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 21 April 2024
Other Topics of Interest

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 21 April 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

On May 15, 2023, Echo published an infographic where, based on what it saw as the under-accounting of military deaths, the share of military deaths for those aged 20-24 years actually represented approximately half of all deaths; in other words, every other Russian guy who dies, died in the war.  

According to analysts, the high death rate on the territory of Ukraine indicates that there is a lack of modern, high-precision equipment being used by the army, contrary to that repeatedly reported by Sergei Shoigu. The publication "Voennoe Obozrenie" reported, on March 21, that in 2022 the Russian army was increasingly being supplied with 50-or-60-years old tanks removed from storage bases and transferred to the frontline.


Thus, faced with increasing supplies of the latest Western equipment given to well-trained units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian army was relying on conscripts using more and more aging weapons with a resulting increase in the damage to the "human factor". This was exacerbated, according to media reports, by the poor-quality of medical care available for Russian wounded which also contributed to a much higher mortality rate.

Ironically, the only ‘leader’ who publicly points out the unacceptable level of human losses during military operations, is the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin. He publicly decries the shortage of ammunition which, he says is compounded by Russian military units fleeing the battlefield, and is contributing to the large number of deaths among his own units. While regular military officers, limited by discipline, do not have an opportunity to speak publicly, Prigozhin seems to have no such constraints.


Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2023 signed a decree to amend the law on the granting Russian citizenship to foreigners and stateless persons. According to these amendments, they and their families can now speedily obtain Russian citizenship simply by signing a contract for military service. At the same time, the document clarifies that it applies not only to those who have signed a contract with the Russian armed forces, but also to those who have signed a contract with some "military formations". Experts are of the opinion that this is done in order to hide losses among the Russian military. 

Also, losses are hidden by providing false information about the cause of death of a particular person. One of the most popular ways is to designate a soldier as "missing", or as "died by negligence". In addition, they also forge service documentation, with entries claiming "retired from the army two weeks before his death." 

 On January 11, during a government-level meeting, Putin publicly called for "special attention to [be given] to problems in the field of demography." In May, the commander of the Chechen Special Detachment "Akhmat" Apti Alaudinov in his Telegram channel warned Russia that if they didn’t start giving birth to more children, they would become "an endangered people."

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (2)
I support
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

What a bunch of spiders they are lies alone lies .
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

They all died of Covid...