The recent weeks were the deadliest for Russian forces in the invasion of Ukraine since the conflict’s initial phase, according to British intelligence.
“Over the past two weeks, Russia has likely suffered its highest rate of casualties since the first week of the invasion,” the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a Sunday briefing.
The mean average for the last seven days was 824 casualties per day, the ministry claimed, citing data provided by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
This was supposedly four times the rate reported between June and July last year.
The rise in Russian losses is likely due to several factors, including Russia’s lack of trained personnel, coordination and resources across the front, the MoD said.
The recent Russian losses in Ukraine were so high that they overwhelmed trackers, The Moscow Times reported.
“Over the past two to three weeks, we’ve noticed the number of reports [of killed soldiers] has begun to rise,” Maxim Litavrin, a data journalist with the independent Russian media site Mediazona, said.
“We simply don’t have enough time to process the information,” Litavrin, whose outlet has been able to confirm a total of 12,538 Russian military deaths in Ukraine via publicly available data, added.
Ukraine’s General Staff, for its part, claimed in its most recent casualty report that total Russian losses numbered 137,780.
Russia’s growing losses over the past weeks are exemplified in Bakhmut and Vuhledar, two besieged settlements in Ukraine’s Donetsk province, according to the British MoD.
More Russian troops continue to be committed in Bakhmut, and Russia’s forces are gaining ground in the city amid its claimed losses, the BBC reported.
Russian units also made advances around Vuhledar, but a failed attack resulted in the abandonment of at least 30 mostly intact armored vehicles, the MoD said in a previous intelligence briefing.
“The situation is very tough… There are constant attempts to break through our defense,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a recent address.
It may take up to two years for Russian forces to take full control of Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk, according to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group paramilitary organization.
“If we have to get to the Dnipro [River], then it will take about three years,” Prigozhin said, according to a Reuters report.