Almost 50,000 Russian troops killed in Ukraine amid escalating war, claims independent research

Analysis claims 50,000 Russian casualties in war
Image source: AP The analysis claimed 50,000 Russian casualties in the war with Ukraine.

Russia-Ukraine WarNearly 50,000 Russians have been killed in Ukraine since last year’s invasion of Moscow, an independent research claims, as its conflict with Kiev escalates. The analysis reportedly used Russian government data to project Russian casualties.

As the Russian-Ukraine war completes 500 days, there is little chance of any abatement of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Russia has generally avoided announcing its military casualties in the war and any attempts to report such losses are suppressed in the media.

The AP reported that two independent Russian media outlets, despite facing harassment and challenges of criminal charges, identified 27,423 dead Russian soldiers using social media postings and photos of cemeteries.

According to one outlet’s editor, Dmitry Treshchanin, the numbers only showed soldiers whose names were known and whose deaths had been confirmed by multiple reports.

Based on inheritance cases filed with Russian authorities, the data shows that 25,000 such cases were opened in 2022 for men aged 15 to 49, out of 11 million from 2014 to 2023. This figure has increased to 47,000 by May 27, 2023.

A White House assessment in May estimated 20,000 Russian casualties in Ukraine through December 2022. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in February that between 40,000 and 60,000 Russians were likely to be killed in the war.

Another estimate from a leaked report by the US Defense Intelligence Agency puts Russian military losses at 35,000–40,000.

Dmitry Kobak, a data scientist at Germany’s University of Tübingen, reportedly obtained mortality rates for 2022 by age and gender categories from a Russian statistics agency. Their analysis found that 24,000 more men under the age of 50 than expected would die in 2022.

However, the data could not show how many people would have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic since February last year if the war had not happened. Both outlets’ analyzes corrected for the effect of COVID on mortality by indexing male mortality against female mortality.

There are still some uncertainties, such as the death toll of older people and how many of those missing since the war began last year are actually dead.

The war began as a result of rising tensions following Ukraine’s membership bid in the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which threatened Russia’s territorial reach. The Russian offensive did not go as smoothly as President Vladimir Putin had planned, as they faced stiff resistance from Ukrainian troops and a strong response from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

(with AP input)

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