Journalists confirm death of 15,100 Russian soldiers in one year of war in Ukraine. USSR suffered fewer losses in nine years of Afghan War

At least 15,136 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war in Ukraine over the past year, Mediazona and BBC News Russian journalists report, having analysed open source data.

The journalists and a team of volunteers gathered information on soldiers’ death from social media posts of relatives, news articles in local media, and official statements released by regional authorities. The actual number of dead soldiers could be higher.

Among the 15,000 dead, at least 1,214 killed soldiers were mobilised personnel. The journalists were also able to confirm the death of 588 PMC Wagner fighters and 1,310 ex-convicts.

Over 1,800 officers have been killed in the war in Ukraine since 24 February 2022. Out of that number, 199 held the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher, the journalists have estimated.

Mediazona notes that the number of losses among the ranks in the Russian army over the past year is higher than the official number of Russian soldiers killed in the Afghan War. According to official data, the USSR lost 15,051 people in Afghanistan over the course of nine years, from 25 December 1979 to 15 February 1989.

The last time Russia’s Defence Ministry reported on its losses in the war was September 2022. “Our losses as of today are 5,937 people killed,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the time.

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