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In Putin’s ‘Meat Grinder’ War With Ukraine, Deaths Of Russian Soldiers Hits 50,000

Tens of thousands of soldiers and citizens have died in Ukraine's two-year war, which began on February 24, 2022, with the Russian invasion.

AP
A Russian soldier walks amidst the rubble in Mariupol's eastern side amid Russia-Ukraine war | Photo: AP
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More than 50,000 Russian military personnel have reportedly died during the Ukraine conflict, according to a report by the BBC on Wednesday. The information was sourced from the BBC's own reporters, independent media group Mediazona, and volunteers.

They found that during the second year of the conflict, more than 27,300 Russian soldiers lost their lives—a 25 per cent increase from the first year.

This followed Moscow’s meat grinder strategy of sending waves of cannon fodder troops to the front lines in an attempt to wear down Ukrainian forces and expose their locations.

The true number of dead is likely to be far higher, the BBC added, because the investigation did not include the deaths of militia in Russian-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Since the war began in February 2022, BBC Russia, the independent media group Mediazona, and volunteers have been keeping track of deaths.

The death toll is eight times higher than the only official public acknowledgement of fatalities ever given by Moscow in September 2022. Ukraine said in February that it had lost 31,000 soldiers, but that figure is also likely to be significantly lower than the true toll.

The Institute for the Study of War reported that Russia deployed "ineffective human-wave style frontal assaults” in the battle for Vuhledar.

“Challenging terrain, a lack of combat power, and failure to surprise Ukrainian forces", the war research group added, had led to few gains and large losses on the battlefield.

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Tens of thousands of soldiers and citizens have died in Ukraine's two-year war, which began on February 24, 2022, with the Russian invasion.

The exact number of casualties is impossible to establish, with both sides giving little information about their losses, to avoid undermining morale among the troops and wider public.

The UN's human rights office said in mid-January it had confirmed the deaths of 10,382 civilians in Ukraine and a further 19,659 injured since Russia's invasion but that the real number was likely higher.

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