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Mediazona confirms the identity of more than 38,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 2, 2023 12:04 AM 2 min read
A funeral ceremony for a Russian soldier at a cemetery in the town of Bogoroditsk in Tula Oblast on March 24, 2023. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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Through open-source research, the Russian independent media outlet Mediazona, together with BBC Russia, confirmed on Dec. 1 the names of 38,261 Russian soldiers who have been killed since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Since the previous update on Nov. 17, the names of more than 1,200 Russian soldiers have been added to the list of casualties.

The journalists specify that the actual figures are likely considerably higher since the information they have verified so far comes from public sources, including obituaries, posts by relatives, news in regional media, and reports by local authorities.

Mediazona added that the "sheer volume of incoming data is overwhelming our processing capabilities."

As in the previous update, the increase in casualties stems largely from Russian soldiers killed near Avdiivka, where a battle has been raging since early October.

In addition, Mediazona noted a spike in deaths resulting from fighting in Kherson Oblast, especially battles on the Dnipro River near the town of Krynky. Russia admitted for the first time on Nov. 15 that Ukrainian soldiers had established positions on the Russian-occupied eastern bank of the river.

Since the previous update, 10 names of officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher were added to the list, including Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, who was reportedly killed by a landmine on Nov. 29.

Volunteers who help Mediazona by visiting Russian cemeteries also identified the deaths of Colonel Andrei Bozhok and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Yurkevsky.

Because of Mediazona's open-source methods, deaths that occurred as long ago as one year prior are added to new updates, such as special forces commander Alexei Antonov, who was killed in late 2022.

Total estimates of Russia's casualties since the full-scale invasion vary widely.

The New York Times reported in August, citing U.S. officials, that Russian military casualties approached 300,000. Those numbers included around 120,000 deaths and 170,000 to 180,000 injured.

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