Revealing the Hidden Truth: The Untold Casualties of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

by Joshua Brown
1 comment
Russian casualties

A groundbreaking analysis has uncovered the concealed human toll of Russia’s war in Ukraine, revealing that nearly 50,000 Russian men have lost their lives. In an unprecedented effort, two independent Russian media outlets, Mediazona and Meduza, collaborated with a data scientist from Germany’s Tübingen University to shed light on this closely guarded secret held by Moscow.

Utilizing the concept of excess mortality, which gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, they meticulously examined Russian government data. By examining inheritance records and official mortality data, they compared the number of deaths of men under the age of 50 between February 2022 and May 2023 with the expected mortality rate during that period.

Both Moscow and Kyiv have refrained from providing timely information on military losses, with each side seeking to downplay the casualties suffered by the other. The Russian government has publicly acknowledged the deaths of only 6,000 soldiers, while independent journalists, activists, and even Russian media outlets have faced repression when attempting to report on military losses. Despite these obstacles, Mediazona, the BBC’s Russian Service, and a network of volunteers have worked tirelessly to compile a database of confirmed war deaths. As of July 7, they had identified 27,423 Russian soldiers who had died.

However, the investigation went beyond the known casualties, thanks to an additional analysis conducted by journalists from Mediazona and Meduza. They accessed records of inheritance cases filed with Russian authorities, which encompassed information on over 11 million individuals who died between 2014 and May 2023. Their analysis revealed that there were 25,000 more inheritance cases opened in 2022 for males aged 15 to 49 than expected, and this number had risen to 47,000 by May 27, 2023.

These figures align with previous assessments by intelligence agencies. The White House estimated that over 20,000 Russians had been killed in Ukraine since December, while the UK Ministry of Defense suggested a range of 40,000 to 60,000 casualties. A leaked assessment from the US Defense Intelligence Agency indicated that 35,000 to 43,000 Russian soldiers were killed in action during the first year of the war.

Dmitry Treshchanin, an editor at Mediazona, cautioned that the figures provided by intelligence agencies might not be entirely accurate, given the complexity of accounting for casualties from various entities involved in the conflict. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the statistics compiled offer valuable insights into the hidden deaths that the Russian government has fiercely attempted to conceal.

Additionally, a data scientist from Tübingen University, Dmitry Kobak, corroborated the findings using mortality data from Russia’s official statistics agency, Rosstat. His analysis revealed an excess of 24,000 deaths among men under 50 in 2022, aligning with the inheritance data analysis.

While uncertainties and challenges remain, such as accounting for missing Russian soldiers and deaths among older men, the overall results are considered plausible. Sergei Scherbov, a scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, cautioned that chance alone could explain some differences in male and female deaths. However, he acknowledged that there could be an excess number of male deaths.

It is crucial to note that these casualty counts do not include missing Russians who are not officially recognized as deceased or Ukrainian citizens fighting in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

The efforts of Mediazona and Meduza to uncover the hidden truth surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlight the challenges faced by independent media outlets. Both organizations have faced significant obstacles, with Meduza operating in exile for eight years and Mediazona labeled a “foreign agent” by Russian authorities. Despite the hurdles, these courageous journalists persist in their pursuit of revealing the reality of the conflict.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about hidden casualties

What is the focus of the analysis mentioned in the text?

The analysis focuses on uncovering the hidden casualties of the war in Ukraine, specifically the number of Russian men who have lost their lives.

Which media outlets and organizations conducted the analysis?

The analysis was conducted by two independent Russian media outlets, Mediazona and Meduza, in collaboration with a data scientist from Germany’s Tübingen University.

How did the analysis estimate the number of casualties?

The analysis utilized the concept of excess mortality, comparing the number of deaths of Russian men under the age of 50 between February 2022 and May 2023 with the expected mortality rate during that period. It involved examining inheritance records, official mortality data, and other sources.

How many Russian casualties were identified in the analysis?

As of July 7, the analysis identified 27,423 dead Russian soldiers. However, when considering additional data from inheritance cases, the estimated number of Russian casualties rose to nearly 50,000.

How reliable are the casualty figures?

The casualty figures are considered plausible overall, supported by multiple sources and analyses. However, there are uncertainties and challenges in accounting for missing soldiers and deaths among older men. The figures provided by intelligence agencies may also have some degree of uncertainty.

Did the Russian government provide accurate data on military losses?

No, neither Moscow nor Kyiv provided timely data on military losses. The Russian government publicly acknowledged the deaths of just over 6,000 soldiers, significantly lower than the figures revealed through independent analysis.

What obstacles did the media outlets face in documenting the casualties?

Media outlets, activists, and independent journalists faced repression, harassment, and potential criminal charges when attempting to report on military losses. Documenting the casualties became an act of defiance against the government’s attempts to hide the true human cost of the invasion.

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1 comment

JohnSmith123 July 11, 2023 - 1:33 am

omg this is crazy! i cant believe the russians are hiding the true numbers. like seriously, 50k dead?? thats just insane. props to the media outlets for doing this investigation. they deserve some serious recognition for their bravery.


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