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BBC confirms identities of 17,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine in 13 months of the war
Using open sources, BBC Russia, together with Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet, established the names of 17,375 Russian soldiers who had been killed in the war in Ukraine. The media carry out a name-by-name count of the dead.
A third of all these losses included people not associated with the army before the invasion - volunteers, mobilized personnel, prisoners, and newly recruited members of private military companies. Since the beginning of 2023, at least 1,000 people who were supposed to serve their sentences in Russian prisons have been killed, according to the findings.
BBC and Mediazona say that according to the most conservative estimates, Russia may have lost about 35,000 people in Ukraine. At the same time, Russia's total irretrievable losses, which include wounded, killed or missing, may amount to at least 157,500 people.
Thirteen months into the war, the number of Russian military casualties verified through open sources has now surpassed the officially confirmed number of deaths of Soviet soldiers during the nine-year war in Afghanistan. Over 15,000 Soviet troops were killed in Afghanistan from 1979 until 1989.
According to American and other Western officials, the number of Russian troops killed and wounded in Ukraine may be approaching 200,000. The officials cautioned that casualties are extremely difficult to estimate, particularly because Russia is believed to undercount its war dead and injured routinely.