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Has Russia Lost More Men in Ukraine than the United States in Recent Wars?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suffered huge losses since the beginning of his extensive invasion of Ukraine, which spurred his partial mobilization, in part aimed at replenishing the Russian forces with 300,000 reservists.

Russian casualties on the battlefield in Ukraine alone are considered so significant in numbers that some observers compare them to the number of combined deaths of American forces in various conflicts over the decades.

But how do the battle-loss figures of two Cold War rivals stack up?

Russian soldiers fired a bullet while taking part in the ‘Vostok-2022’ military exercises on Sakhalin Island on September 4, 2022. Ukraine said 66,650 Russian soldiers were killed in the invasion of Ukraine on October 20, 2022.

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In a Reddit post titled “Russia has lost more fighters than the US has lost in the last 60 years… combined,” user u/trigrhappy pondered how the personnel cost Putin paid in his invasion compares to the latest US military. campaigns.

Citing the latest figures from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, the user said it was a “critical enough milestone” to reflect that Russia had lost 66,280 fighters since the start of the war on February 24.

In the post, which sparked a heated discussion, the user wrote, “As a result, 13 hours ago Russia was killed in 88 wars far from surpassing all war deaths in the United States since 1962…..


Every day, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine publishes updates on the gains and losses of Russia in the war, including the latest death toll of Russian troops and information on tanks, artillery systems and other combat losses. aeroplane.

The Reddit post in question referred to figures for Wednesday, October 19th, also released by Ukraine’s defense ministry. On Thursday, Ukraine’s estimate of the Russian death toll was actually 370 higher, bringing the total to 66,650.

The Reddit post added that “From the beginning of the Vietnam war to the present, the United States has lost 66,368 military members in conflicts around the world”, adding that this includes both combat and non-combat deaths.

The post cited data from the Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS), which collects information on “those who have fallen in global or regional conflicts involving the United States.”

DCAS said there were 58,220 American deaths in the Vietnam War, and a total of 383 deaths in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. He also said that 4,418 American deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 74 more died in Operation New Dawn.

Meanwhile, Inherent Resolve operations had 107 US deaths each, and Freedom’s Sentinel the same number of deaths; and 2,349 American soldiers, a total of 65,658 died in Operation Enduring Freedom. The Reddit post had 710 “miscellaneous” deaths in American campaigns, bringing the total to 66,368.

While, at first glance, the Ukrainian military’s estimates are indeed higher than the death toll of US soldiers quoted by u/trigrhappy, the big caveat is that it is extremely difficult to estimate the exact number of Russian casualties.

The Kremlin has rarely released figures publicly, and the figures for Russian deaths in Ukraine are much higher than other international estimates.

The last official Russian tally came on September 21, when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 5,937 Russian soldiers were killed. This is the first official figure since 1,351 people died on 25 March.

On October 7, Mediazona, along with the BBC, said there were 7,184 confirmed Russian military deaths in Russia, but said the figure “does not reflect the actual level of casualties”, only reporting on public and media casualties.

In August, US Undersecretary for Defense Policy Colin Kahl said there were as many as 80,000 casualties in the first six months of the war, but that included deaths and injuries.

Meanwhile, as Michael Clarke, visiting professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, puts it News Week Forecasts made last week by both Moscow and Kyiv are likely to be wrong.

Wagner estimates that between 30,000 and 40,000 people died under the Russian flag in Ukraine, including mercenaries and Syrian groups.

News Week Contacted the Russian defense ministry for comment.




Going beyond the figures announced by Ukraine, the statement would be correct, but at the moment it is not possible to make an accurate and independent assessment of Russia’s death toll amid the mists of war.

Moscow claims far fewer troop deaths than Kiev, although it has been tight-lipped about casualties since the start of the war and therefore official Russian figures are considered a significant understatement.

Western estimates put the death toll in the tens of thousands, but still less than the Ukrainian armed forces’ tally of more than 66,000. This means that the exact death toll has not been confirmed.