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Media investigation identifies 45,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

Media investigation identifies 45,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

WARSAW — The BBC Russian Service and news outlet Mediazona have confirmed the identity of around 45,000 Russian soldiers who died in Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022.

The issue of military casualties is extremely sensitive in both countries. Russia has banned criticism of the conflict and no official figures have been released since 2022.

"The BBC, together with Mediazona... and a team of volunteers managed to establish the names of 45,123 Russian militaries who died in the war in Ukraine since February 2022," the report said.

It only included the names of soldiers publicly identified in open-source data—mainly obituaries—and warned the real toll may be twice as high.

"Two-thirds of the dead we have identified had no links to the army prior to the invasion: volunteers, mobilized, prisoners and private company recruits," the BBC's Russian language service said.

After over a year of grinding trench warfare that failed to yield territorial gains for either Moscow or Kyiv, the Kremlin is ramping up deployments to the front.

President Vladimir Putin rarely acknowledges setbacks on the battlefield, framing the almost two-year war as a battle for Russia's survival in a bid to rally patriotism.

Ukraine also keeps its military losses and casualties secret, although analysts believe they number in the tens of thousands after two years of fighting. — Agence France-Presse

Tags: ukraine, russia, news