What’s going on in Russia?
The Russian defense ministry confirmed in early March that 498 Russian soldiers had been killed in battle and 1,500 had been injured, a staggering figure after only 10 days of conflict that highlighted the dangers of its rapid strike on Kyiv.
Official government figures, according to critics, should be viewed with caution. Since then, US and Ukrainian authorities have claimed that Russia has lost 10, 20, or 30 times as many deaths, saying that Russian losses are comparable to those in the Chechen or Afghan conflicts. And, in Russia’s communication vacuum, rumors have arisen about the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have been slain in the weeks afterward.
Russia’s Response On The Matter
“It’s nearly a state secret,” said a Russian military analyst who declined to be identified to discuss the matter. “We have no idea how many individuals have perished… It is preferable to explore other issues at this time.”
As censors have prohibited any description of the fighting as a “war” or “invasion,” Russian news sources still operating within the nation have mostly stopped reporting on the war’s death toll. However, on Monday, the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, which usually publishes pro-Kremlin news, concealed a bombshell in a piece about the war: “According to figures from the Russian Defense Ministry, 9,861 Russian servicemen were killed in battle and another 16,153 were injured.”
The queue was gone in a matter of minutes. No other Russian news outlets covered the comments, and it’s unclear why only Komsomolskaya Pravda had access to the material. As opponents referred to the piece as proof that the Kremlin was suffering catastrophic losses in the month-old conflict, screenshots and archival versions of the removed report rapidly went viral.
Later on, the newspaper stated that its website had been hacked. The website said, “Access to the administrative interface on the Komsomolskaya Pravda website was hacked, and a false was generated in this publication regarding the situation surrounding the special operation in Ukraine. The incorrect information was removed right away.”
Journalists have been forced to dig through the local funeral announcements or seek out mortuary directors for hints as to the Russian death toll due to a lack of official information, while officials have accused anybody reporting the matter of spreading false information.
A Ukrainian air-defense missile took down a Ka-52 helicopter on the first dawn of Russia’s invasion. The Russian combat helicopter dubbed the “Alligator,” has been lauded at air shows and is meant to eliminate tanks, trucks, and enemy personnel. China has purchased its shares.
Experts were taken aback by Ukraine’s early demonstration of the military fight, which set the tone for the rest of the conflict. Stijn Mitzer, a researcher in Amsterdam, and his partners at Oryx, a blog, keep count of casualties by looking through publicly available images and videos from the fighting. Ukraine has destroyed, damaged, or seized at least 1,054 pieces of Russian weaponry over three weeks into Vladimir Putin’s reckless assault, three to four times as many as it has surrendered to Russia.
These are far from ideal figures. They are a lower bound, counting only losses that can be verified by photographic or video proof. Ukrainians are significantly more likely to collect and share such information than Russian soldiers, who have most certainly had their phones stolen and are supposedly on a peacekeeping mission, according to Kremlin propaganda. Despite this, the data offer a view into the fog of battle.
If Russia succeeds, it will very certainly be due to sheer numbers. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, Russia possessed 15,857 armored combat vehicles before the war, whereas Ukraine had just 3,309. So far, the losses have accounted for around 6% of Ukraine’s armored equipment but just 4% of Russia’s. That is why the Ukrainian government is fighting tooth and nail to keep supplies coming in.
According to British military intelligence’s daily assessment on Thursday, Russian forces ‘had probably definitely sustained hundreds of deaths throughout their invasion of Ukraine.’ Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24 as a ‘special military operation,’ has already lasted a month, but Moscow has failed to make major progress in the face of a staunch Ukrainian rearguard, barring rare triumphs. Given the magnitude of the fatalities and the length of the fight, “Russia is likely now seeking to mobilize its reservist and conscript forces, as well as private militaries and international mercenaries…” according to British military intelligence.
“How these groups will integrate with Russian ground troops in Ukraine and the impact this will have on combat efficiency,” the defense ministry stated in a tweet.
The ministry’s remarks come as the Boris Johnson government imposes yet another round of sanctions on Moscow. On Thursday, it announced the sanctioning of 59 additional Russian persons and businesses, including the secretive mercenary outfit Wagner.
Few Final Words
In Ukraine, Russia has lost 1,666 cars, with over 800 of them being destroyed during the battle. 111 tanks, 74 armored combat vehicles, 123 infantry fighting vehicles, and 312 trucks, vehicles, and jeeps have been verified as destroyed.
The bloggers noted, “This list only contains wrecked vehicles and equipment for which picture or videographic evidence is available.” “As a result, the total quantity of equipment destroyed is far more than reported here.”