5% of Russian Army Soldiers Who Took Part in the War Are Dead

Kind of a big deal when you can't conscript to make up the losses

Source: Substack

Donetsk Republic reports it has suffered 2780 military deaths (and 11600 wounded) in the war so far.  The losses of Lugansk Republic are presumably in the same general range but somewhat smaller because its population and army at the outset of the war were smaller. Thus between 1500 and 2500 deaths.

Russia hasn’t reported its death toll since March, but local journalists working for BBC Russian have compiled a list of 5701 confirmed deaths working from reports by regions and obituaries on social media and local papers. This is only a partial number because not all families take out obituaries and many regions do not report on the deaths of their servicemen. The people behind the list estimate it captures between 40% and 60% of the total deaths, which would make that total between 9500 and 14250. Personally I find that convincing. I think that 10,000 is a good estimate of Russian military deaths so far.

I think a good estimate for the combined military deaths of Russia, Donetsk and Lugansk would be 14,000, albeit anything between 9,000 and 20,000 is conceivable.

Donetsk Republic had the prewar population of 2.3 million. For Donetsk to lose 2780 dead (in six months) is the equivalent of the 330-million US losing 400,000 dead.

10,000 deaths spread out among the 145-million population of Russia doesn’t seem that high, but the deaths aren’t distributed among the entire population.

The vast majority of deaths are sustained by Russia’s ground army (300,000-strong), airborne (40,000), spetsnaz (20,000) and naval infantry (12,000). That is under 380,000 men in total. But one-third of these are conscripts who are not sent to Ukraine leaving just 250,000 officers and enlisted men to bear the brunt of Russia’s casualties.

10,000 dead and 40,000 wounded (10,000 seriously) out of a force of 250,000 are not low casualties.

This would mean that 1 out of 25 (4%) were killed. However in all likelihood some officers and enlistees have yet to see Ukraine.

If we assume that 80% of the land forces have so far served in Ukraine it would mean that 1 in 20 (5%) of those who did have been killed, and 1 in 5 were injured. 1 in 10 were either killed or seriously wounded.

What are Ukraine’s casualties?

The top Ukrainian general recently stated that Ukraine has lost 9000 dead so far. The real number is double or perhaps even triple that.

However, there is one thing to keep in mind. Ukraine has some contract soldiers but the majority are conscripts. Moreover Ukraine is actually using them to fight the war. Both the regular conscripts inducted for national service upon reaching military age, and older men mobilized for the war. This means that Ukrainian toll, whatever it is, falls upon the entire fighting-age male population of the country. That is over 7 million men between 18 and 45.

Whatever Ukraine’s casualties — even if they were to be several times greater than Russian — she can always make up for them by mobilizing more. Russia meanwhile can not easily conjure up large numbers of additional officers and professional soldiers.

Russia is trying to spread the blood toll by greater reliance on Wagner mercenaries and highly-paid “volunteers” who are offered contracts as short as 3 months to join the army. However, for the time being the majority of the fighting is still borne by the men who were already in the military when the war started.

Russia has a nearly four times greater population on paper, but for as long as the political leadership isn’t willing to send conscripts to war that doesn’t matter. For as long as that is the case it is actually Ukraine that holds the manpower advantage and can far more easily replace its losses. Even with Ukraine losing more men from a smaller population, the format of Russia’s war means that Russia will feel the manpower crunch before Ukraine does.

The extent of sacrifices borne by the standing army already and the limits of relief by short-time mercenaries could be why the pace of Russian operations has steadily declined.

Some have speculated that Kremlin plans to annex Donetsk, Lugansk, and possibly Kherson in the near future to be able to send conscripts there (since they would not be leaving “Russian soil”), but if so the slow progress in Donetsk has frustrated and delayed those plans.

Rossgvards and new “volunteers” are only a small portion of the dead. The vast majority of the total are members of the army already serving when the war commenced.
The pace of operations has steadily declined, reflected in lower daily casualties and an increasingly static battlefield alike. But even as the battlefield has turned static about 30 Russian soldiers continue to die daily. (The graph has about 70 weekly but they only have data for about one-third of the dead.)
  1. Mike says

    It always makes me laugh when I read something to finally realize that the sources come from the mass media and social media. I realize that getting the truth is difficult but it certainly will not come from those sources…most times.

  2. Jasonovich says

    Misinformation is dispersed freely here, real shame, it is a challenge these days to find the truth or even half truths without first running into the wall of censorship.

    1. Abraham Lincoln says

      Yes this is a pro Jewish empire, pro Jewish racist supremacist website. I am glad they have outed themselves for all the see as nothing beats the voluntary confessions. Notice how they don’t talk about the racist supremacist Jewish Nazi loses in Ukraine or the massive Jewish NATO and USSA loses in equipment.

      I am laughing at the so called racially superior Jewish intellect.

  3. YakovKedmi says

    According to the Russian Ministry of War, soldiers of the Expeditionary Force never die —they just fade out of the record. Ukrainian soldiers, on the other hand, are dying by the thousands, and whole entire brigades are wiped out every week.


    No one may accuse President Donetsk Mihailov of being pro-Ukraine. The talk around his youtube pages is that 30,000 Allied Expeditionary soldiers died (not over all casualties, but dead).

  4. Boris says

    Dobnass troops are doing the brunt of fighting so take disproporionate casualties. I Dont dispute the 10K figure though. We know that the majority of Russian casualties came in the first 3 weeks of the operation and since then have fallen quite dramatically. Casualties are still definitely within the acceptable range for an ‘invading force’ and absolutely seen as minimal compared to Ukie losses/wounded which are around the 200K mark. Its a war of attrition with a stated aim of keeping civilian casualties low which, compared to western wars of the last 40yrs, has again been achieved (but at some cost to Russian Forces). This isnt a big deal to me and won’t be to Russians either, what will be a VERY big deal is if they dont crush the Kiev nazi regime and decapitate zelensky and washington. All the meaty stuff is yet to come and the longer this war goes on the nastier and more cynical it will become. Good points for Russia are thay have pretty much demilitarised Ukie military who exist now off recruits, a battered officer corp, desperately being withdrawn from the front in an attempt to retain some military cohesion and western weaopns. Winter gives Ukies a chance to rearm, regroup, retrain perhaps and Russia can then start destroying its second Ukrainian army within 12 months. Spring will be interesting as will the Ukrops continuing decent into terrorist desperation. We are in it for the long haul whether the EU collapses or not, the fight is between Russia and America nobody really gives a f*ck about the EU as Victoria Nuland so pithily exclaimed all those years ago. Hopefully Russia has learnt its lessons and will not put itself in position of Ukies getting to take free potshots. Most of the Nazis are dead (save those in Kiev) and Ukie military is no longer a single cohesive force. Either Ukraine will collpase before winter or we’re in it for round 2 next March. These figures won’t be a surprise to anyone or at least they shouldn’t be. My top end calculation was around 15K kia for Russian Forces combined and 20 to 30K wounded. Anyway whatever the casualty rates, the Ukies aren’t totally out for the count and winter could be their saving grace and a poorly timed inflection point for Russia. Maybe Ukies have still got something to play for?

  5. Traveller says

    5% is much better than 60%, which is the percentage of killed Ukie soldiers so far. Also, roughly the same percentage as that of nato forces involved in wars of aggression in Iraq, Afganistan, Serbia and Syria. The difference is that nato mercenaries mainly dies from drug overdose, handling of uranium.enriched ammunition, traffic accidents and suicide.

  6. Dale says

    “The real number [of Ukrainian dead] are probably two or three times [9,000 dead]” … sorry, but I had to stop reading at that point. I can no longer consider this site a credible source (beyond its criticisms of Russian Covid response).

  7. TRM says

    10:1 kill rate minimum in favor of Russia+Allies and it is not getting better. So 10k Russians+Allies and 100k (min) Ukrainian+

    News flash for you, Russia can continue at those loss levels but the Ukraine can’t.

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