were there 6,000 Russian deaths as Moscow claims, or 55,000 as Kyiv claims? – Liberation

War between Ukraine and Russiacase

While Vladimir Putin announced, Wednesday, September 21, the mobilization of part of the population, the total number of Russian soldiers killed since the invasion of Ukraine varied from one to ten between the two capitals. Two French researchers raised with “CheckNnews” a range of between 20,000 and 30,000 deaths.

The official balance sheet multiplied by more than ten in six months. From 498 on March 1, Moscow’s recognized Russian death toll in Ukraine has risen to 5,937 in recent days, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who spoke Wednesday on the Russia-Russia television channel. For its part, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, which calculates every day the damage inflicted by Russian troops on its territory, a record 55,510 died on September 22. Either figure goes from modest to tenfold between the official balance put forward by Moscow and that claimed by Kyiv.

Reliability of the balance sheets of the belligerents concerned

What is it? As we explained in previous articles, in March it is very difficult to estimate the death toll on each side of the front, especially while the conflict is still ongoing. That the data comes from combatant nations also undermines their credibility. “The most unreliable judgments are clearly those of the two belligerents, and in particular Russia, which seem largely unrealistic”, recalls researcher Edouard Jolly, from the Military School’s Strategic Research Institute (Irsem).

Therefore, getting out of it leads to looking at the West, even if the latter, and in particular the United States, also has an interest in inflating Russia’s losses. On July 21, the American and British intelligence services put forward figures of 15,000 Russian soldiers killed. balance sheet is “About 15,000 dead and probably three times as many injuredsaid Bill Burns, head of the CIA. This is a significant loss. Ukraine also suffered losses, maybe slightly less, but significant ones. The next day, his MI 6 partner, Richard Moore, took this number, while resurrecting “conservative estimate”. Last American estimate, August 8, by Pentagon number three vote: “70,000 to 80,000” killed or wounded, of the roughly 150,000 Russian troops engaged in February.

Since then, Ukraine has led a broad offensive that has allowed them to recover most of the territory lost in recent months, especially east of Kharkiv, in the north of the country. Asked about the possibility of setting a new death toll for Russia, Edouard Jolly believed it was still as subtle as March to word it exactly. “However, there are some open sources that provide indications”, he explained. Starting with the death of the officers, it is known because of the official burial. Their number will increase to 1,190 on September 20, according to Twitter account “Russian officer killed in UK”judge “serious” by Joli. On this basis, and taking into account other parameters, such as missing material, also informed in open sources, “one could think that the number of Russian soldiers killed ranged between 25,000 and 30,000”, advancing researchers. Before remembering that it is necessary “consider this figure, which is only a modest approximation, with extreme caution”. Still, it’s about the downside “tremendous, high-intensity conflict characteristic”, believes Edouard Jolly.

Russia’s dearest elite troops are in dire straits

Historian and Colonel Michel Goya, maintains an estimate of 200 deaths per day from late February to April, and around 100 deaths per day between April and today. It is “number of deaths between 20,000 and 25,000 on the Russian side”. A slightly lower figure than his colleague Edouard Jolly, but still colossal, according to him. “Counting the wounded, the Russian army lost half of the people involved at the start of the war. That’s enough to explain that he’s had setbacks on the pitchhe added. Because when you get below a certain threshold, your troops stop learning, your units get destroyed, and you retreat. Otherwise, “The Ukrainian army has learned and grown in strength, especially its territorial units, which were quite mediocre at the start of the conflict and are now able to carry out attacks on their own.”

Beyond the total number killed, it was their nature that weighed heavily on Russia. According to the BBC, which also does open source work there, Moscow has lost more than 900 men from the elite force, some of whom required several years of training (and millions of dollars for pilots). As of September 1, British media listed, at least, the deaths since February as 337 marines, 245 members of the national guard, 151 GRU (military intelligence) special forces soldiers, 144 members of the elite airborne regiment, 67 aircraft pilots, and 20 personnel from the intelligence and protection services. (FSB and FSO).

The BBC also estimates that paratroopers accounted for 20% of all recorded casualties since the start of the war. For example, the paratroopers of the 331st regiment “considered one of the most powerful units of the Russian army”, will accuse the death of 150 people. By adding “Estimated number of injured [sur la base de 7 blessés pour deux morts]»this regiment would lose from 650 to 670 men. “That’s more than half the estimated strength of the 331st regiment at the start of the war.”concluded the BBC.

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