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 collecting data on Russian military casualties in Ukraine. The numbers provided are derived from publicly available sources, such as social media posts by family members, local news reports, and official announcements from regional authorities. However, it is important to note that these figures offer only a partial picture and do not encompass the full scope of the casualties.

To address this, we present an additional figure alongside the count of named death records. This second number is an estimate of excess mortality among men, derived from the Probate Registry database. The methodology for this estimate was developed in partnership with Meduza.


About Our Reports

This report is divided into two main sections:

Bi-weekly Summary. This section is updated every two weeks and provides a written overview of our most recent findings on Russian military casualties. We also identify the events at the front lines that have led to the deaths of Russian soldiers.

Interactive Infographics. The second section showcases visual representations of the casualties since the beginning of the war. These infographics include information such as the military units in which the deceased served and the regions where they lived. While the data in this section is regularly updated, the accompanying text descriptions are revised but largely remain the same.

For a comprehensive explanation of the methodology used to estimate the number of deaths based on data from the Probate Registry, please follow the link.

Last update of the names list: May 24, 2024

Last update of the Probate Registry estimate: March 15, 2024

On May 12, a residential building entrance collapsed in Belgorod following an explosion, killing 17 civilians. While the Russian Ministry of Defence insists this was the result of Ukrainian shelling, researchers (such as the CIT team) suggest it was a Russian army bomb or missile that went off course.

The notion that the war has come to Russian soil and that Russian civilians are also dying in the conflict is no longer an exaggeration. In this report, we have decided to focus on the civilian casualties, whose names are being tallied by 7×7, an independent publication. They verify government reports of those killed during shelling incidents and exclude military personnel from the data.

At the time of publishing this report, the list of civilian casualties stands at 238 people. This refers to individuals who died on Russian territory, excluding occupied regions of Ukraine.

The Belgorod region has suffered the highest number of casualties (177). This region has been subjected to the most intense shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine; additionally, civilians have been harmed due to errors by the Russian army, such as unintentional bomb drops.

About 20 people have been killed in the Kursk and Bryansk regions (23 and 21, respectively), while 17 lives were lost in the Krasnodar krai in the south.

The first peak on the graph in October represents victims of the Russian army. On October 17, 2022, a Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber crashed into a residential building in Yeysk (Krasnodar krai), killing 16 people.

The graph also reveals that shelling of Russian regions intensified around May last year. The peak at the end of 2023 represents the Ukrainian shelling of Belgorod on December 30; this claimed the lives of 25 civilians. Ukrainian media, citing sources, reported that this shelling was in retaliation for an attack on Ukrainian cities the day before, during which 58 Ukrainians were killed in a Russian attack.

Since the spring of 2024, the shelling has become almost constant; the most recent peak is the aforementioned collapse of a residential building entrance in Belgorod.

What we know about the casualties

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 most cases, the branch of service or the way the deceased ended up in the army (mobilized, volunteer, inmate, etc.) can be determined from the death reports or indirectly, through uniform or sleeve patches in photos.

We compared these groups of military personnel in a separate chart to provide a clearer picture of the distribution of casualties among different categories of soldiers.

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 May 24, the confirmed death toll among Russian army officers and other security forces surpassed 3,500, with 414 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 41,500 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 45,000 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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