This Thursday marks a week since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. An aggression that is proving very expensive for the invader.
Russian military losses according to Ukraine
Today at 9:45 CET, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has released an estimate of the losses suffered by the Russians. The figures are as follows:
These same figures have been published today at 9:36 CET by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, which states: "Data is being updated. The calculation is complicated by the high intensity of hostilities." Significantly, the list does not include the wounded or prisoners of war captured by the Ukrainians. Ukraine has also not reported any military losses of its own.
Russian military losses according to Russia
After six days without offering any information, yesterday at 18:16 CET the Russian Ministry of Defense recognized 498 Russian soldiers killed and 1,597 wounded in the invasion.
Likewise, the aforementioned Russian command has indicated that the Ukrainian forces (including soldiers, militiamen and police) would have 2,870 dead and some 3,700 wounded.
The credibility that these figures deserve, like everything that official Russian sources have been publishing since they insisted on denying an invasion that Putin had already planned, can be measured by this other statement by the spokesman for that Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov: "The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation take measures to ensure the safety of civilians in Ukraine." A gross lie spread when Russia has been attacking civilian targets for days, including hospitals and schools.
Ukrainian military losses according to Russia
Today at 8:39 CET General Konashenkov has attributed the following losses to the Ukrainian forces:
Russia has as many dead in a week as the USSR in Afghanistan in 4 months
These figures, if the ones provided by Ukraine and Russia are true, should lead the Russian government to serious reflection. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979-1989), the invaders had 14,453 dead and 53,753 wounded out of a total of 620,000 soldiers who participated in that war (source: Journal of Special Operations Medicine, Vol. 7, Num. 1-2). The year with the highest casualties was 1984: 2,343 dead and 8,356 wounded. If we trust the figures published by the Ukraine, in a single week Russia had exceeded the number of Soviet deaths between 1979 and 1984 in Afghanistan, and that on a total number of troops much lower than that sent to that country.
If we take as true the figure published by Russia of 498 dead, this figure would be almost a third of the dead in the first year of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In one week, the Russians would have suffered almost as many casualties in the Ukraine as the Soviets in Afghanistan in 4 months. So even if we trust the Russian figures, which will surely tend to reduce losses, this invasion is costing the Russian Armed Forces lives much higher than the invasion of Afghanistan, which ended in Soviet defeat.
Photo: @oryxspioenkop. Three Russian military vehicles destroyed by Ukrainian forces on the first day of the Russian invasion: a Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile system (center), an Ural-4320 truck, and an MT-LB armored vehicle with anti-aircraft guns (left).
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