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Mediazona confirms identities of over 52,700 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova May 18, 2024 6:52 AM  (Updated: ) 2 min read
Illustrative photo: The dead bodies of two Russian soldiers lie on the grass in front of a house in the liberated village of Makiivka in Ukraine's eastern Luhansk Oblast. A cardboard box with the letter "Z," a symbol of the Russian army, is placed in front of one of the bodies. (Laurel Chor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Through open-source research, Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet, together with BBC Russia, confirmed the names of 52,789 Russian soldiers who had been killed since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Since Mediazona's last update in late April, the names of 1,100 Russian soldiers have been added to the list of casualties.

The journalists note that the actual figures are likely significantly higher, as their verified information comes from public sources such as obituaries, posts by relatives, regional media reports, and statements from local authorities.

Since Russia began its all-out war against Ukraine, over 3,400 officers, with 403 holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or higher have been killed in combat in Ukraine.

In early May, Ukrainian sources reported a strike using long-range ATACMS missiles on a concentration of Russian military personnel in the occupied Luhansk Oblast, claiming that the attack could have killed up to 100 soldiers.

Russian sources, including pro-war bloggers, were silent on this strike. In the past, similar attacks have ignited heated discussions within this community, with bloggers cautiously criticizing unnamed commanders for making their subordinates gather in open fields, according to Mediazona.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces carried out similar strikes in February 2024, when three consecutive formations were hit by HIMARS missiles.

On Feb. 24, in a joint study with independent Russian media outlet Meduza, Mediazona reported that at least 83,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in Russia's war, although total estimates of Russia's casualties since the full-scale invasion vary widely.

President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed in February 2024 that 180,000 Russians had been killed in the war. He added that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have also been killed. Zelensky said that the exact number is unknown, and it would only be possible to find out once the territories occupied by Russia were liberated.

As of May 17, 2024, the Ukrainian military estimates Russian combat losses at 489,870 troops killed.

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