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Meduza: Russian mortality data suggests over 64,000 troops killed fighting in Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 30, 2024 3:35 PM 2 min read
A man digs a grave near tombs of Russian soldiers at a cemetery in the town of Yefremov in the Tula region on March 23, 2023. (For illustrative purposes) (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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Recently published mortality data suggests that over 64,000 Russian men were killed fighting in Ukraine, according to a report by independent Russian media outlets Meduza and Mediazona on June 28.

Mediazona, together with BBC News Russian, has long been documenting the names of Russian soldiers killed fighting in Ukraine through open-source research. The research has provided the names of over 56,000 Russian soldiers that have been killed since 2022.

Russia's Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) published data on Russia's mortality data for 2023 on June 27, allowing for an analysis of the male excess mortality rate.

Meduza analyzed the data with statistician Dmitry Kobak, who looked at the difference between the "actual number of deaths among men and the number we would expect in a hypothetical scenario where there is no war."

Russia's female mortality rate helped to create a "benchmark for calculating the expected number of deaths among men," as women are "almost completely absent" in the names confirmed by Mediazona and BBC News Russian, Meduza said.

The data shows a "sharply elevated excess mortality rate among young men relative to the situation before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine," with excess male mortality "nearly doubled compared to 2022," Meduza said.

The results indicate there were 24,000 excess deaths among men in 2022, and 40,500 excess deaths among men in 2023.

Meduza and Mediazona estimated in February 2024 that at least 83,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, using probate and inheritance records.

The lower figures suggested by Rosstat's data may be due to several factors, such as some military deaths being excluded from Rosstat's data, Meduza said.

Ukraine estimates that the Russian military's personnel losses surpassed 500,000 on May 25, 2024.

Explainer: What we do and don’t know about the number of Ukrainian troops killed
President Volodymyr Zelensky announced recently that 31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in the war against Russia, the first official release of military personnel losses in over a year. “Every person is a very great loss for us. 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in this war,” Zelensky said on

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