Russian deaths in Ukraine surpass all its war fatalities since WWII combined: study

Russian combat deaths in the first year of its war on neighboring Ukraine have likely now exceeded the combined death toll of all of its wars since World War II, according to new research from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

CSIS tallies the number of Russians killed or missing in Ukraine since last February at between 60,000 and 70,000, a figure that tracks with recent United Kingdom intelligence.

The next-highest recorded counts were as many as 16,000 in Russia’s wars in Chechnya in the 1990s and early aughts, and as many as 25,000 in the Soviet Union’s involvement in Afghanistan in the ‘80s. 

Including injuries, CSIS estimates Russia has suffered as many as 250,000 casualties in the last year of warfare.

“While some types of authoritarian regimes are willing to accept high casualties in interstate conflicts, Russian casualty numbers are unprecedented since World War II,” the report found.

The report notes that the number of Russian soldiers killed in the first year of the Ukraine war is around two-to-five times the casualty count in nearly 15 years of fighting in Chechnya. 

“The Ukrainian military has also performed remarkably well against a much larger and initially better-equipped Russian military,” the study says, suggesting Kyiv’s success is due in part to “military innovation” facilitated by “a military environment that encourages and enables junior officers to seek innovation.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine crossed its one-year anniversary earlier this month, just after President Biden made a surprise trip to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and underscore continued U.S. support.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently estimated that at least 8,000 civilians have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

A top Zelensky adviser said back in December that as many as 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in action.

Tags Biden casualties Deaths Moscow russia ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky WWII

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