Russian casualties in Ukraine. Mediazona count, updated

Russian casualties in Ukraine. Mediazona count, updated

Mediazona, in collaboration with BBC News Russian service and a team of volunteers, continues gathering information on the Russian military casualties in Ukraine. The figures we provide are sourced from publicly available information, including social media posts from family members, local media coverage, and official statements from local authorities. However, these figures represent only a partial account and do not reflect the full extent of the casualties.

The actual death toll is likely significantly higher. A joint data investigation by Mediazona and Meduza estimated in July that by the end of May, approximately 47,000 Russians under the age of 50 had died in the Ukraine war.

We will keep updating our database with the verified names of soldiers who were killed in the war. We are also exploring methods to incorporate estimated figures into our regular updates.

This article consists of two main parts: a summary, updated bi-weekly, and the infographics that detail Russian casualties since the beginning of the war. While the summary section receives updates less frequently, the infographics are updated more regularly to provide the latest information.

ЧИТАТЬ НА РУССКОМ

Over the past two and weeks, our casualty list was expanded by about 1,200 names—a figure typical for the last several months. Although we are currently seeing more public posts than usual and are struggling to keep up with processing them. Therefore, the actual number is likely higher.

Last week, Ukrainian troops retreated from Avdiivka. The active phase of the Russian offensive there started on 10 October 2023, with four months of severe fighting. We are seeing significant growth of Russian casualties since mid-October, but it doesn’t compare with the Bakhmut offensive. That being said, we weren’t seeing Bakhmut casualties right away. And even now the data on the battle cannot be considered exhaustive.

Andrei Morozov, a Russian serviceman and popular milblogger, based on a discussion in his Telegram channel, writes: “Since October. From Nevelskoye to Novoselovka. 16,000 permanent losses. on our side. And about 300 units of armour smashed.” He also mentions the “ground down to zero” 1487th regiment, which was formed in Saint Petersburg about a year ago. The term “permanent losses” covers both killed and heavily wounded in action.

After the Bakhmut campaign was over, the co-founder of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that 20,000 inmates and mercenaries from the group died in the fights for the city. We still aren’t able to confirm this number based on the names list.

On February 11, CNN reported that Russia recruited up to 15,000 Nepalis to fight in Ukraine, according to one of the channel’s sources. Mediazona checked this claim via open data of the Russian Border Service and found that in 2023 over one thousand Nepali citizens entered Russia as “tourists,” compared with 72 in 2022. And the trend is obvious: each quarter, the number of such “tourists” grew.

Photo and video evidence, data about PoWs and obituaries confirm the presence of Nepali fighters in the Russian army (we have 9 names of Nepalis in our database), but hundreds rather than thousands.

Over the fortnight, four officers in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and higher were added to our list.

High-ranking officer deaths identified over two weeks

What we know about the casualties

The majority of those killed in action come from the Sverdlovsk region, Bashkortostan, Chelyabinsk region and Rostov region, as well as Buryatia. A notably high number of casualty reports are emerging from Krasnodar krai (also known as Kuban) and Moscow region. This increase can be largely attributed to the efforts of volunteers who are documenting and photographing military burials in local cemeteries, thus bringing a greater number of losses to public attention.

The distribution of casualties across Russian regions is presented in absolute figures, these numbers have not been adjusted in relation to regional population sizes or the concentration of military units.

Readers can view either overall losses or those specific to different branches of the armed forces. Additionally, there is information regarding the native regions of the mobilised soldiers.

In the majority of cases, the military branch of a deceased serviceman can be ascertained either directly from the death notification or indirectly through the distinctive features of the uniform and sleeve insignia.

Although mobilised soldiers, volunteers, and inmates do not belong to traditional military branches, for analytical purposes, they have been included in our chart. This allows for a comparative analysis of their losses alongside those of regular military units. Below is the breakdown of fatalities segmented by various branches of the army.

Since the summer, volunteer units bore the brunt of casualties, a stark contrast to the war’s initial phase. During the winter and early spring, the heaviest losses were sustained by the Airborne Forces, followed by the Motorised Rifle Troops.

By the end of 2022 and entering the new year, there was a marked increase in fatalities among prisoners conscripted into the Wagner PMC. These conscripts were formed into “assault groups” for offensives against Ukrainian positions near Bakhmut.

By March 2023, these prisoners represented the largest single category of losses in the conflict. Following the assault on Bakhmut, there have been no reported instances of mass deployment of these prisoner units.

As of January 19, the confirmed death toll among Russian army officers and other security forces exceeded 3,100, with 366 of these officers being of Lieutenant Colonel rank or higher.

Officers killed in Ukraine

As of today, official confirmation has been received regarding the deaths of two deputy army commanders: Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky of the 41st Army, and Major General Vladimir Frolov of the 8th Army.

In late May 2022, retired Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, a former fighter pilot, was killed, presumably having volunteered for combat. Additionally, Captain 1st Rank Andrei Paliy, the deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet, was also reported among the casualties. On June 5, 2022, the death of Major General Roman Kutuzov was reported.

In June 2023, the death of Major General Sergei Goryachev was announced. He served as the chief of staff for the 35th Combined Arms Army, responsible for confronting the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhia region.

By July 2023, the death of the first Lieutenant General, Oleg Tsokov, deputy commander of the Southern Military District, was confirmed.

In November 2023, Major General Vladimir Zavadsky was killed. He served as the deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps.

Over 35,100 reports specify the dates of military personnel deaths. While the daily loss figures derived from this data may not accurately reflect the total casualties, they provide an indication of the intensity of the fighting on specific days.

It is important to note that the most recent data is likely to be incomplete and subject to significant revisions in the future.

In 37,700 of the casualty reports, the ages of the deceased are mentioned. In the initial six months of the conflict, characterized by the deployment of regular military forces without the inclusion of volunteers, mobilised troops, or prisoners, the most significant number of fatalities occurred in the 21–23 age group.

The age profile diverges notably for volunteers and mobilised soldiers. Those who volunteer for combat service are predominantly in the age bracket of 30–35 years or older. The mobilised personnel are generally over the age of 25.

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