In the past few days, the hot topic in many Western media outlets was the Russian manpower losses in Ukraine. It seems that each agency competes in terms or the figures they rush to publish.
Some report 180,000 KIAs, while some suggest the death toll stands at 200,000… On the other hand, a completely natural question arises as to whether these numbers correspond to reality.
For example, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as of February 3, 2023, 129,870 invaders were eliminated. At the same time, Western media report data including with WIAs.
But how do they count those wounded Russians anyway? Do these outlets Western media have some proper intelligence from Russian clinics, field hospitals, and other health care facilities on the incoming WIAs, as well as the fatality rate among them?
So let’s return to the outset of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine…
It was then that I was part of the team composing data on Russian manpower losses. Our group received data from sources on the ground in the temporarily captured areas in eastern Ukraine, occupied Crimea, Belarus and even from Belgorod and Rostov regions of Russia, which some may find surprising.
Over time, the incoming reports started shrinking proportionally to the number of our sources who remained in touch. Our last report was posted on July 30, 2022, when the number of Russian WIAs was estimated at 79,500, and KIAs – at 42,500.
So Russia’s overall losses by July 30, 2022 stood at 122,000.
Separately, I should note that the reliability of our information has been repeatedly confirmed, including at the highest level. For example, by April we reported that Russian invasion forces sustained losses at the level of a third of their original composition, or even more.
Already on April 6, Pentagon spox John Kirby noted during a briefing that 60% of the Russian invasion grouping remained in Ukraine, which confirmed the reliability of our data on Russian losses (more than 30%).
And now, back to our topic.
It is difficult for me now to assess the situation of the Russian wounded, especially of those who have their last breath on hospital beds. But I must note that when our team had such data, the WIA to KIA ratio was 1.8 on average.
But here it should be mentioned that, since that time, the number of eliminated invaders has increased significantly. For example, while in March of last year, Ukrainian forces killed 3,900 Russian troops within a month, in December the monthly death toll was 25,920. In April, 5,800 occupiers were killed, while in January 2023, it was 21,700!
With the growing death toll, the ratio to the wounded grows, too. That is, the July ration of 1.8 is now totally inapplicable. But, even if you take it as a minimum value, what would be the current losses for the Russian forces?
So, the calculation of losses since March, with a 1.8 KIA to WIA ratio.
Once again, this is a calculation of data received from March 2022 to January 2023, with a casualty rate of 1.8, which is the average statistical indicator of the KIA to WIA ratio as of July 2022. That is, the real losses today are likely higher. Much higher.
That is why, already in September 2022, the Russian military and political leadership launched a general mobilization to draft another 300,000 soldiers, while calling the effort “partial”, while defense chief Shoigu claimed the army lost a mere 6,000 troops.
Why mobilize 300,000 if you only had 6,000 of your men killed in action?
In fact, this is because by September 2022, Russia’s total losses in Ukraine had exceeded 100,000, which is more than 50% of the initial invasion grouping and over 1/3 of the entire combat-ready part of the Russian army!