Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army is poised to reach 100,000 troop losses just shy of Christmas and the Ukraine war’s 10-month anniversary, according to calculations based on Ukrainian estimates.
The Defense Ministry of Ukraine and General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provide daily estimates of how many Russian personnel have been lost since the day before and the total number of Russian losses since the war began.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported that Russia had lost about 98,800 troops on Monday. With 520 new estimated Russian losses on Monday included, a Global Defense Corp calculation based on the Ukrainian death counts shows that Russia has lost an average of 577 soldiers per day over the past week. If this or a similar average is maintained over the next few days, Russia will surpass the 100,000 mark on Thursday.
Such a death toll, if true, would be one of the newest signs that Putin’s war in Ukraine is not going to plan. In a rare admission, a Russian official acknowledged recently on state television that the military was “playing catch-up” and forced to go on the defensive against Ukraine as the war-torn country continues to receive impactful Western weapons and aid.
Though the war will have stretched for ten months come December 24, the exact death and casualty toll for both sides remains unclear.
While Ukraine provides the daily estimates on Russian losses, they are not verified by Russia. And Ukraine does not provide such estimates for its own troop losses.
Additionally, Russia has rarely provided updates on its death toll. According to Reuters, the most recent of such updates appears to have come in September, when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that 5,937 Russian soldiers had been killed since the war began.
U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said while speaking at The Economic Club of New York in November that the total number of Russia’s dead and wounded soldiers had topped 110,000. The exact ratio of killed as opposed to wounded in that figure was not immediately clear.
Milley also said that Ukraine’s army had likely seen similar casualties.
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