Over 30,000 Russian soldiers are believed to have died in the war in Ukraine according to Mediazona, together with the BBC Russian Service and a volunteer joint investigation team.
The figures are drawn from verified publicly available data, public obituaries in the media and social networks, as well as photos from cemeteries. However, experts suggest that the actual count may be much higher, with calculations from Mediazona and Meduza point to 47,000 dead at the end of May 2023.
Recent updates indicate that approximately 1,300 additional casualties have been identified over the past two weeks.
Casualties have been observed to be disproportionately higher among Russian rocket operators and artillery personnel during Ukraine's counteroffensive operations.
According to estimates produced by the journalists, from the start of summer 2022 until mid-autumn that year, volunteers experienced the biggest losses. This is quite different from what happened at the beginning of the war, when airborne units took the hardest hits, followed by motorized rifle troops.
By the end of 2022 and early 2023 there were noticeably more casualties among prisoners who had joined the Wagner group. These individuals typically comprised “assault groups” to attack Ukrainian positions near Bakhmut.
In March 2023, prisoners became the largest group of injured personnel in the war. After the attack on Bakhmut, there have been comparatively fewer cases of prisoners being used along the front line.
Open sources also report information about 176 deaths among military pilots.
Notably, Russian regions such as Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Bashkiria, Buryatia, and the Rostov region have recently experienced a concentration of funerals.
Ukraine, meanwhile, gives much higher figures of Russian casualties. According to official reports of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, the Russian army has lost about 253,000 people.
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