Just How Many Russian Soldiers Have Died in Ukraine?

"How to understand wildly different estimates from Ukraine, the West, and Russia itself—and what to make of a pro-Putin tabloid claiming it was hacked." - The Dispatch

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Aaron Blumer's picture


Western intelligence estimates put the number of Russian casualties (dead and wounded) at up to 1,000 a day! Out of a total invasion force of say 200,000 (150,000 soldiers, + Rosgvardiya and irregulars), that is an absolutely punishing casualty rate. To put this in perspective, during the Vietnam war the U.S. had an average casualty rate of about 133 a day (19 dead and 114 wounded).

In another piece at the Dispatch (paywalled), David French cites U.S. military intel and other experts making the case that the invasion may have "culminated" (achieved all it can achieve).

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

....is that when someone withdraws a story like this, my estimate of its credibility increases, especially given that the numbers are really pretty plausible.  The Russian offensive isn't stalling because they're not taking casualties and morale is great, after all.  Plus, if they've indeed lost over 1000 armored vehicles to Madame Javelin and her beautiful sisters, that's close to 5000 casualties right there.

Side note; if you've noted, as I have, how catastrophic the damage is to T-72s by Madame Javelin, you might be interested in knowing why.  My son looked it up, and apparently the autoloader for the howitzer in the tank is fed from around the perimeter of the turret.  So when something capable of igniting gunpowder penetrates the turret, the vehicle effectively self-destructs.  Suffice it to say that you'd probably be able to bury the poor crew in a thimble.

Other side note; I don't want to see a lot of Russians dead, just one particular Russian, with his minions going to jail or death row.  May the invasion be quickly repulsed with minimal loss of life, and of course, Putin delenda est!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

Freddie Sayers interviews a military analyst on the claims here. FWIW

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

dgszweda's picture

The media continues to use the false comparison between both armies.  Russia's army is 8x the size of the Ukraine army so there is no match.  The problem is, that the entire Russian army is not fighting Ukraine, nor could it.  Most of it is stationed all over Russia and in other parts of the world.  What Ukraine needs to fight against is a 190,000 person strong (conscript heavy) army, against their roughly 200,000+ Ukraine army.  The match is not that different at the end of the day, and you are seeing this play out in the numbers that are reported.

I still don't know why NATO doesn't send people in.  We are worried about World War 3, but this is looking more like a Russian disaster than anything else.  Let Ukrainians fight the Russians on the front line and NATO setup a West Ukraine safe zone and build supply chains to the front lines.  This would be over very quickly.  If Belarus goes in, as the intelligence teams are reporting that they might, than in my opinion we should go in.  Biden looks extremely weak here.  No red lines, and constant announcements that the US is not going in.  If we just say, that we are going to send in 250,000 soldiers and 3 carrier groups off of the coast, that threat alone would start making them rethink things.  I am not for sending in troops necessarily, but that is not always the point of threatening.  Especially as weak as the Russians are getting.  This would be a simple mop up exercise.

Bert Perry's picture

My personal view--bad tires, equipment obviously not used for training, deploying military academy cadets, losing a major road access to Kyiv yesterday, Putin's advisor quitting and fleeing the country, frostbite as a significant contributor to injuries, artillerymen missing targets literally by a mile, Belarussian train workers sabotaging their own tracks into Ukraine to prevent use, recruiting of Syrian mercenaries, Putin's mistress and kids becoming refugees in Switzerland--is that Russia is in serious danger of losing, and they've deployed a lot more of their front line soldiers than they're letting on.  My best guess is that they've got 300-350,000 men actually in infantry, Cavalry, and artillery, and they've put about 150,000 of them into Ukraine, of which maybe 110-120,000 are still capable of fighting.

The question, then, is is it better to help them or not?  If you help, the Russians have the excuse "it took a superpower to beat us",  and the possibility of the thing getting much bigger/nuclear.  If you don't, you have the possibility of Russia winning, but on the flip side, getting beat by fat middle aged guys who hadn't otherwise held a gun in 20 years would be a humiliation that might do Russia a ton of good (and Putin a ton of bad).  It would make a great war memorial, too.  

My take at this point is that the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, hospitals, and schools is a war crime, and the U.S. and NATO are within their rights to say "if you commit war crimes from an identifiable emplacement, we may decide to take out your ability to commit these war crimes."  That noted, given that Kyiv is nearly 300 miles from the Polish border, we'd have some difficulty doing what we all dream of; shooting up the entire Russian supply column with a squadron or so of A-10s.  We don't want to "pull a Putin" and go into a war just as unprepared, logistically, as the Russians.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

I agree.  I was watching a recreation of the Desert Storm on the "The Operations Room" Youtube channel.  Utterly fascinating.  But the level of precision around what we did there pales almost by infinity to what Russia is doing in Ukraine.  Not sure why we have been so afraid of Russia.

With that said, I agree about not being pulled in.  I think NATO should create a safezone in the West (with no fly zones) of Ukraine.  We may shoot down a Russian plane or two, but I am not sure what reprucossions could really take place.  And we beef up the supply chain and weapons to Ukraine and allow them to fight on the front lines.  They seem to be doing a good job of it.

Regardless of what Putin says in public, he knows he has a mess on his hands and his army is pretty much useless.  I am not sure he has the capacity or strength to really do anything with a NATO presence in the West.  Regardless of actual conflict, I do not know why Biden doesn't start moving carrier groups into the region and start appearing to create a buildup or deterance for any further agression.


Bert Perry's picture

The Russian Minister of Defense hasn't been heard from for 11 days, and other people are disappearing as well.  Nikolai Yezhov, Leon Trotsky, Sergey Kirov, and Nikolai Shvernik, please call your offices.  Thank you.

(all of these were "disappeared" from public life and even pictures by Joseph Stalin Jugashvili)

Seriously, it's getting hairy, and Putin delenda est.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.