Russia has more losses in seven months than the USSR had in 10 years

Ukraine vs Afghanistan: A comparison of Moscow's losses in both invasions

Three days ago, it was seven months since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. To say that it is a Russian military disaster would be an understatement.

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To better understand the importance of the Russian losses in this invasion, it is enough tocompare them with the losses suffered by the USSR in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Although the USSR disappeared, today the Russian Federation is considered politically his heiress for all intents and purposes, so it's the most apt comparison. Let us remember that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began in December 1979 and ended in February 1989: it lasted almost ten years.

On Soviet losses in Afghanistan, I will refer to the most complete work on the matter: "The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost", a comprehensive study written by 16 military analysts from the Russian General Staff and translated into English in 2002 from the University of Kansas; and also "The Soviet-Afghan War: Breaking the Hammer & Sickle", published in 2006 by VFW and written by Army Lt. Col. Lester W. Grau of the USA, and by Colonel (retired) Ali Ahmad Jalali of the Afghan National Army, who fought against that Soviet invasion.

Let's start with the figures of Soviet losses in those 10 years of invasion in Afghanistan exposed in those two works:

  • Dead soldiers: 14,453.
  • Wounded: 53,753.
  • Planes: 118.
  • Helicopters: 333.
  • Tanks: 147.
  • Armored infantry and personnel carriers: 1,314.
  • Artillery pieces: 433.
  • Trucks: 11,369.
  • Ships: 0.
  • Trains: 0.

Let us now see Russian material losses in Ukraine, taking as a reference the data published by, which has been documenting these losses with images since the beginning of the invasion:

  • Planes: 189 (58 manned and 131 unmanned).
  • Helicopters: 50.
  • Tanks: 1,183.
  • Armored infantry and personnel carriers: 1,488 (1,325 infantry fighting vehicles and 163 armored personnel carriers).
  • Artillery pieces: 470 (21 heavy mortars, 98 towed guns, 211 self-propelled howitzers, 109 multiple rocket launchers, 31 anti-aircraft guns and 72 SAMs).
  • Trucks: 1,687.
  • Ships: 11.
  • Trains: 3.

As we can see, Russian material losses in seven months in Ukraine exceed Soviet losses in 10 years in Afghanistan in almost all areas, except for helicopters and trucks. In the case of tanks, the figure is brutally higher. After the Soviet defeat and withdrawal from Afghanistan after suffering the losses we have seen above, it is surprising that Putin seriously believes that he can win a war with such brutal losses.

Regarding Russian personnel casualties, a few days ago Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu put the figure at 5,937 soldiers, without specifying whether it is the dead or the figure also includes the wounded. This is a figure without any credibility, like almost all the information that the Kremlin has been transmitting. In turn, on the same day the Ukrainian General Staff calculated that Russian casualties add up to 55,110 soldiers (we would be talking about more than a quarter of the Russian invasion force, which would be about 200,000 soldiers according to The New York Times). Also, in August, the Pentagon estimated that Russian casualties ranged between 70,000 and 80,000 dead and wounded.

If we take the Ukrainian and American estimates as a reference, Russia would have already had as many casualties in Ukraine in seven months as the USSR in Afghanistan in ten years. But if we want to get a better idea of ​​the volume of casualties, Taking the Soviet losses in Afghanistan exposed at the beginning as a reference, in that invasion the average casualty was 19,828 soldiers per year. Russia would have already surpassed that number of casualties comfortably in just seven months. Faced with this, the only thing Putin can think of is to order a "partial mobilization" to send ill-prepared soldiers to the front, poorly equipped and with a combat morale so low that Russia is experiencing a veritable exodus of men who do not want to fight. Given these data, it is surprising that there are still people blind enough to consider Putin a great strategist.


Photo: A destroyed Russian tank in Ukraine.

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