Russia raises its estimate to 1,400 troops lost in Ukraine

The Associated Press

Russia on Friday raised its official number of military losses in Ukraine to just under 1,400, a figure that comes after NATO put Moscow’s losses at up to 15,000.

“Unfortunately, there were losses among our comrades during the special military operation,” Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, the Russian defense ministry’s deputy head of the general staff, said in a briefing. “To date, 1,351 servicemen have died, and 3,825 have been injured.”

Russia closely guards information on its casualties, with the last such update on March 2, when it said almost 500 soldiers were killed and nearly 1,600 wounded.

The previous and more recent numbers could not be verified by Western outlets, and U.S. and NATO officials have suggested Moscow’s casualty figures are significant undercounts.

NATO on Wednesday estimated that roughly 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and up to 40,000 were dead, wounded, taken prisoner or missing since the country’s attack on Ukraine began four weeks ago.

The alliance said it came to those totals after reviewing information from Ukrainian officials, Western intelligence and what is has picked up from Russian communication channels, according to a senior NATO military official.

By comparison, the Soviet Union lost about 15,000 troops over a decade of war in Afghanistan after it invaded in late 1979. 

Moscow sent more than 150,000 troops into Ukraine beginning Feb. 24 but has since made limited progress with its ground forces.

The Russian troops have been slowed or stopped on several fronts by fierce Ukrainian resistance that has been supplied with Western weapons.

The Ukrainians troops have so far prevented Russia from taking several major cities including the capital of Kyiv, which the Kremlin hoped to quickly topple in the first few days of the attack.

On Friday, Rudskoy claimed that Russian forces have “blocked” Kyiv and the second largest population center, Kharkiv, and that 23,000 or so individuals from 37 countries had expressed a willingness to fight with Kremlin troops.

Western officials, however, have not shared those assessments. Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, last week told reporters that he’s seen no indications that Russia is moving large numbers of troops from Syria or other central Asian countries. 

Tags casualties Russia Ukraine

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