Russian President Vladimir Putin may have inadvertently disclosed a staggering number of casualties in Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine during his annual four-hour press conference.
While the Kremlin has officially acknowledged around 6,000 troop deaths, a recent revelation suggests a much higher toll.
Unveiling the Real Numbers:
The disclosed losses were highlighted in a post on the “Maps and Arrows” Telegram account, managed by Russian military analyst Ian Matveev.
According to Matveev, Putin implied that Russia lost over 360,000 individuals in the war, a stark contrast to the official figure. The breakdown included 244,000 mobilized troops, 486,000 volunteers, and only 617,000 at the front.
Matveev’s analysis calculated irretrievable losses at 113,000 people, considering factors such as the invasion group and pre-mobilization recruits, totaling approximately 363,000 people.
Discrepancies with External Reports:
The newly suggested figure does not align with the 315,000 Russian troop casualties disclosed in a leaked declassified US intelligence document.
Meanwhile, Ukraine asserts that Russia has lost 342,800 troops since the initiation of the invasion.
Mutual Accusations of High Casualties:
Russia countered by claiming that Ukraine, too, is experiencing significant troop losses. Putin asserted that Kyiv had lost 90,000 troops since commencing its latest counteroffensive in June.
Putin characterized the Ukrainian death toll as “simply huge,” asserting an approximate ratio of one Ukrainian death to every eight Russian casualties.
Challenges in Assessing Casualties:
Marina Miron, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, highlighted the challenges in determining accurate casualty figures in an ongoing conflict.
She noted that both sides often aim to keep such data confidential and may inflate adversary casualties, making it difficult to ascertain the true extent of the losses.
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