Report: 45,123 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine since the start of the war

Report: 45,123 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine since the start of the war

| Wednesday 21 February 2024

The BBC Russian Service and the independent Russian site "Mediazona" have confirmed the identities of around 45,000 Russian soldiers who have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion of the country on February 24, 2022.

Discussing military losses is highly sensitive in both Russia and Ukraine, where the topic remains shrouded in secrecy. Moscow has prohibited criticism of the war and has not published any official figures regarding its losses since 2022.

In a joint report, the BBC Russian Service and Mediazona stated, "We managed, along with a group of volunteers, to identify the names of 45,123 Russian military personnel killed in the war in Ukraine since February 2022."

The institutions noted that they could only identify soldiers whose names appeared in strictly open-source data, such as death notifications, local authorities' statements, obituaries in the media, or on social networks. 

The BBC Russian Service warned that the actual number of deaths in the Russian army might be double the reported figure.

The BBC Russian Service stated, "We found that two-thirds of the identified deceased had no prior affiliation with the army before the invasion, and they were volunteers, conscripts, prisoners, or recruits in private companies."

After more than a year of trench warfare that failed to achieve any significant territorial gains for either Moscow or Kyiv, the Kremlin is sending reinforcements to the front.

Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely admits setbacks on the battlefield and portrays the ongoing war of two years as a struggle for Russia's survival, attempting to rally national sentiments among the population.

Meanwhile, Ukraine rarely discloses its military losses, and analysts estimate Ukrainian human losses to be in the tens of thousands after two years of fighting.

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