The Kremlin publishes ridiculous figures without any evidence to support them

A website dismantles the false military losses of Ukraine spread by Russia

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Kremlin has turned lies into one of its main weapons.

Russia exceeds 2,000 tanks lost in Ukraine: these are the most damaged models
The Russian and Ukrainian tank losses compared to their pre-invasion forces

These lies are intended, on the one hand, to demoralize the Ukrainians, in an attempt to demotivate their troops and reduce their fighting capacity; and on the other hand, trying to demobilize the shipment of military aid from other countries to Ukraine. So far, Russia has been unsuccessful in either of those two pursuits. And it is that the use of lies as a weapon of psychological warfare requires a minimum of credibility, and Russia is spreading lies that are very easy to dismantle.

The independent website, which has documented Russian and Ukrainian losses with images since the start of the invasion, also has a list of Ukrainian fake losses spread by Russia.

Two Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 drones.

One of the clumsiest cases of lies from Russia was carried out by the Bayraktar TB2, an aircraft manufactured by the Turkish company Baykar. On April 11, 2022, Russian state media Sputnik claimed that Russia had shot down 100 Ukrainian TB2. However, as published in the full report "The Military Balance 2022" of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at the beginning of the invasion Ukraine only had 7 operational TB2 (6 in its Air Force and 1 in its Naval Aviation). According to Oryx, as of March 2022 Ukraine received another 30 TB2. So Russia was claiming to have shot down far more TB2 than Ukraine actually had.

The lie escalated two months later. On June 30, 2022, in a program on Russian state television, propagandist Olga Skabeyeva claimed that Russia had shot down 1,000 Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 drones. The hoax had grown considerably fat. A week earlier, Baykar announced the manufacture of its 500th TB2. It is very likely that within a week Baykar would make another 500 drones, deliver them to the Ukraine, and Russia would shoot them all down. Also, keep in mind that those 500 TB2 in service have been sold to 22 countries.

Two MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force (Photo: Armyinform).

Another example of Russian propaganda lies is a report published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on June 30, 2022 claiming to have destroyed 444 Ukrainian aircraft, 240 helicopters and 4,833 drones. Oryx points out that these are fake numbers: actually there were 67 planes and 26 helicopters whose losses are graphically documented. The Russian hoax about the destroyed Ukrainian aircraft is especially ridiculous if we review the aforementioned "The Military Balance 2022", noting that at the beginning of the invasion Ukraine had 305 planes and 114 helicopters, totaling all branches of service of its Armed Forces. Once again, Russia claims to have destroyed more material than Ukraine has.

A Ukrainian M-142 HIMARS missile launcher in eastern Ukraine on July 1, 2022 (Photo: Anastasia Vlasova).

Russia have also shown a special interest in lying about the M-142 HIMARS , a missile launcher manufactured by the US and which has put the Russian army in serious trouble. Oryx points out that Russia has claimed to have destroyed 48 HIMARS, as of March 26, 2023. However, when Russia made that claim, Ukraine had only received 16 HIMARS. In addition to the fact that once again the loss figures released by Russia do not match the active materiel in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oryx adds: "There is no visual evidence to support the loss of any HIMARS."

A Finnish Army M-270 MLRS (Photo: Puolustusvoimat).

Something similar occurs with other materials received by Ukraine. Oryx points out, for example, that Russia claims to have destroyed seven MLRS M-270 missile launchers, but there is no evidence to support that claim, as is usual with all the information the Russian government publishes about alleged losses. ukrainian Likewise, Oryx points out that Russia claims to have destroyed 36 AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers, manufactured in Poland. In this case there is only evidence that 14 of them have been destroyed.

Two AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers of the Polish Army (Photo: Polska Zbrojna).

Likewise, Russia claims to have destroyed seven PzH 2000 SPG self-propelled howitzers, an artillery system made in Germany. But as in other cases, there is no evidence to support the loss of any PzH 2000 SPG. Along the same lines of claiming to have destroyed Ukrainian materiel, ridiculously exaggerating the figures, Russia has also claimed the destruction of 196 M-777 howitzers, a towed artillery system made in the US. In this case, according to Oryx, only the destruction of 32 of them is documented.

An M-777 howitzer of the Ukrainian Army (Photo: Sergey Bobok).


Photo: Arsen Fedosenko / Ukrainian Armed Forces.

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