Russian lost 263,000 manpower and $140 Billion in equipment in the Ukraine war, here’s why?

When you destroy a tank or armored vehicle, you not only destroy the equipment; Javelin and NLAW’s HEAT rounds vaporize everything it hits. HIMARS strikes not only destroys equipment and it vaporizes the surroundings of humans.

Russia’s “special military operations” in Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. Since then, the Kyiv government has been keeping a toll of Russian fatalities throughout the conflict.

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has been sharing the daily death toll of Russian troops. With the use of impressive graphics and comparisons (such as football fields), they are very effective at putting the horrors of war into simple terms.

So, how many Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine? The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has confirmed over 240,500 casualties as of July 23, 2023.

Meanwhile, Russian data has been opaque. According to Reuters, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared in September 2022, about 6,000 Russian soldiers had died in Ukraine. It’s hard to believe that Minister Shoigu would disclose accurate numbers of death as it could topple Putin’s regime in Russia. If 6,000 soldiers died, then Putin would not call for additional 300,000 Russians to be conscripted into the Russian military. 

According to NPR, Russian independent news outlets Meduza and Mediazona place the death toll much lower: 47,000 fallen soldiers by July 2022.

Meanwhile, U.S. high-ranking military officials have stated that the death toll at the end of 2022 was roughly over 100,000 for Russians and the same number for Ukrainians.

General Eirik Kristoffersen, Norway’s Chief of Defense, told Radio France International in late January 2023 that his government estimated 180,000 losses for the Russian army and 100,000 for Ukrainian forces, plus 30,000 civilian deaths in Ukraine.

In any case, local authorities in Ukraine not only share a death toll that they update every day, but they also report the damage inflicted on Russian armament and military equipment.

Equipment and manpower losses

Oryx, or Oryxspioenkop, is a Dutch open-source intelligence defense analysis website, and a warfare research group that provides correct data about losses of both sides.

EquipmentDestroyedCapturedOperatorsCosts (USD billion)Death
Main Battle Tanks (T-55, T-60, T-72, T-90s)63345503 crews$1517,352
Armored Vehicles (BTR family)80806403+7 occupant$574,400
Multiple Launch Rocket Systems57104$2.12,284
Air Defense System (TOR, Buk, Pantsir, S-300 and S-400)24304 to 50 depending on missile types$15  2000
Fighter Jets and aircraft (Sukhoi family)31501 to 2 depending on aircraft types$9.5315
Airborne Command Post (Tu-22, Mi-8)45010$1450
Early Warning Aircraft2010$.520
Helicopters31601 to 2 depending on helo types$4.72,200
Drones202601 to 4 depending on types$.5   
Cruise Missiles (Kalibr, Kh-55, Kh-101, Kh-31)8730Depending on launch platform$3.5 
Ballistic Missiles (Iskandar Family)37004$1.8 
Warship18050 to 130 depending on boats$2400
Vehicles521202 to 4 depending on types$.720,848
Special Vehicles22602 to 4 depending on types$.5904
Munitions (Missiles, Rockets, Bullets, Bombs, shells)Unknown0Unknown$75 
Total   $140.5 Billion134,553 (excluding foot soldiers)

For instance, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence reported that the Russian military had lost 6334 tanks, 8080 armored vehicles, 315 military jets, and 18 warships and boats, after a year and a half of fighting.

Much of the damaged military equipment seized from the enemy has been put on display throughout Ukraine to boost the local population’s morale.

18 months after the start of the war, the numbers of those affected by the war continue to add up with no end in sight.

Billions of U.S. dollars, Euros, and Rubles invested in military equipment now lie destroyed in the field. Who knows how much longer it can go on?

However, it’s important to remember that when talking about official numbers given by local authorities in the middle of a conflict, they are not free from bias. Russia would never give accurate numbers as it would topple Putin’s regime. Ukraine’s Minister of Defense also reveals the human suffering of war.

What is the actual Russian death number?

The casualty figure includes around 43,000 Russians who have been killed in about six months, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday, citing newly declassified American intelligence.

As of February 2023, the U.S. estimated that Russia had suffered 189,500 to 223,000 casualties, including 35,500 to 43,000 recently killed in action, according to a leaked Pentagon document obtained by NBC News and other news outlets, part of a trove of classified material posted online. The same document estimated that Ukraine had suffered 124,500 to 131,000 casualties, with 15,500 to 1 7,500 killed in action.

Ukrainian military gathered destroyed pieces of an Iskander ballistic missile downed by the American-made MIM-104 Patriot missile defense system. Photo: Ukrainian MoD.

Once the total number is estimated, the death of foot soldiers in Bakhmut, Kherson, Donetsk and the destruction of barracks using artilleries, the Russian death toll could reach up to 300,000. Russia lost more than 50,000 soldiers in the battle of Bakhmut.

Half of those killed were from the Wagner mercenary group, the majority of whom were ex-convicts “thrown into combat” in Bakhmut, Kirby said, who lacked “sufficient combat training, combat leadership or any sense of organizational command and control.”

As of July 26, 2023, Russia lost 263,000 troops in the Ukraine war.

Russia called up some 300,000 men during the first wave last September, leading to protests and a mass exodus of men from the country, another indication of Russian manpower losses on the battlefield.

Seemingly reluctant to do so again but aware of the pressing need for more troops ahead of a potentially decisive period in the war, the Kremlin has stepped up its efforts to find new recruits.

“Since February 24, at least 240,000 residential buildings have been destroyed or damaged. The number of Ukrainians left homeless already exceeds 3.5 million”, Ukraine’s Minister of Defence posted on Twitter back in the summer of 2022 and numbers have only gone up since then.

“In 5 months of the large-scale war, over 830 Ukrainian health care facilities were affected by Russian terror”, the Defence Ministry tweeted. “More than 500 pharmacies have been destroyed/damaged, around 200 ambulances have been damaged; at least 18 doctors killed and 43 injured”.

To highlight the atrocities of war, the Ministry of Defense shared images of Russian attacks on social media with the tag #russiaisaterroriststate.

Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky requested, through the Defence Ministry, to end the war as soon as possible. He requested the aid of the Ukrainian people to obtain peace.

“Time is priceless and every day is measured in human lives. The more people join us in defending freedom and truth, the sooner Russia’s war against Ukraine will end. Prove that freedom always wins!”, declared Volodymyr Zelensky.

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