Russia has lost more than 140,000 military personnel in its invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military said, a week before the conflict marks its first anniversary.
A total of 140,460 Russian combat losses have been recorded since the war began on Feb. 24, 2022, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its most recent casualty report released Thursday.
Russian losses within the same time period also included 3,296 tanks, 6,517 armored fighting vehicles and 2,306 artillery systems, among other pieces of military equipment.
Russia last provided an official death toll from its invasion last September when the country’s defense ministry claimed that 5,937 Russian soldiers had died at the time.
Mediazona, with the help of the BBC’s Russian service and volunteers, has been able to confirm via publicly available data 14,093 Russian military deaths in Ukraine as of Sunday.
The real death toll is likely much higher, according to the independent Russian media outlet.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s dead or wounded probably numbers more than 100,000, Norwegian Army Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen, the head of Norway’s Armed Forces, suggested in an interview last month.
Russia will suffer more casualties as it “continues to pour large numbers of additional people into the fight,” according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
“[T]hose people are ill-trained and ill-equipped. And because of that, we see [Russia] incurring a lot of casualties. And we’ll probably continue to see that going forward. That’s… their strength: They have a lot of people,” Austin told the press in Brussels, Belgium, following a North Atlantic Treaty Organization conference.
While Russia claimed that it successfully mobilized 300,000 military reservists for its invasion, the country has been accused of sending its newly drafted soldiers to the frontline poorly trained and ill-equipped.
These troops are being deployed as “cannon fodder” to either slow down Ukraine’s assaults or cripple Ukrainian defensive positions, according to the Warsaw Institute, a think tank based in Poland.
Russia reportedly employed “human wave” attacks around the besieged city of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s partially occupied Donetsk province since last October.
The tactic, which was commonly used during World War I, involved Russian forces trying to flood the battlefield with a wave of densely packed soldiers sent directly toward the enemy line with the goal of overwhelming the opponent.