Russia loses 50,000 soldiers to war as Putin's death toll surges

Russia loses 50,000 soldiers to war as Putin's death toll surges

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 17/04/2024

- 10:37

Updated: 17/04/2024

- 11:04

Moscow's fatality count has increased by 25 per cent in the second year of the war

Russia has lost over 50,000 soldiers since the war in Ukraine began, with the body count increasing by 25 per cent in the second year of the conflict, according to new research.

The overall death toll is eight times higher than Moscow’s only ever public acknowledgement of its fatality count, which they released September 2022.

In the last 12 months, Moscow has been applying its so-called meat grinder strategy on the front line. This involves relentlessly sending soldiers into Ukraine to wear down their opposition’s forces.

Russia has declined to comment on the latest figures.

Putin/Ukrainian soldiers fire towards Russian troops

Over 50,000 of Putin's soldiers have lost their lives whilst fighting in Ukraine


Analysis by independent media group Mediazona, BBC Russian, and volunteers does not include the deaths of militia in Russian-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk - in eastern Ukraine. They speculate that if these figures were added, the death toll would surge even higher.

Kyiv rarely discusses its battlefield death toll, stating previously that revealing the number could harm its war effort.

However, in February, President Volodymyr Zelensky said 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed. Western officials citing US intelligence suggest losses of a greater scale.

Since the war began, volunteers working with the BBC and Mediazona have visited 70 cemeteries across Russia to count new military graves.


Ukrainian soldier and tank taking fire from Russia

Moscow's fatality count has increased by 25 per cent in the second year of the war


They speculate that two in five of Russia’s dead soldiers do not have a military background – many being volunteers, civilians and prisoners.

“This means they have to do things that are a lot simpler tactically - which generally seems to be a forward assault onto Ukrainian positions with artillery support,” Samuel Cranny-Evans, a research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), said.

Earlier this year, Putin announced that he is trying to raise the age limit for troops to 70 in a bid to increase numbers, UK military intelligence has reported.

If approved, the draft legislation could bolster Russian troops, who are continually dwindling in the ongoing war in Ukraine.


Russia has declined to comment on the figures


“Russia is proposing a draft legislation to raise the age of military contract personnel, including those that were recruited before June 2023, to age 65 and age 70 for officers,” a statement released by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in February.

“This would substantially raise the current age limit of 51 for non-officers and would likely extend the contract length.”

US intelligence said in January that Russia’s heavy losses in the war have resulted in the relaxing of recruitment standards.

“The scale of losses has forced Russia to take extraordinary measures to sustain its ability to fight. Russia declared a partial mobilisation of 300,000 personnel in late 2022 and has relaxed standards to allow recruitment of convicts and older civilians,” the US assessment said.

In September 2022, the Russian President declared a partial mobilisation of reservists to help fight in Ukraine.

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