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Russian military death toll in Ukraine exceeds 50,000: Report

12:54 AM Apr 18, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
russian military death toll in ukraine exceeds 50 000  report
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New Delhi, Apr 17: According to a recent analysis by BBC News, the death toll of Russian military personnel in Ukraine has surpassed 50,000, marking a grim milestone in the ongoing conflict. Over the past year, the intensity of the fighting has escalated, with casualties increasing by nearly 25% compared to the previous year.

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Since February 2022, BBC Russian, independent media group Mediazona, and volunteers have been tracking fatalities, drawing from various sources including new graves in cemeteries and open-source information.

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The analysis revealed that more than 27,300 Russian soldiers lost their lives in the second year of combat alone, underscoring the heavy toll exacted by Moscow's aggressive tactics and territorial ambitions. Despite repeated requests for comment, Russian authorities have declined to provide any official statement on the matter to the BBC.

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The reported death toll is a staggering eight times higher than the only publicly acknowledged figure released by Moscow in September 2022. However, the actual number of fatalities is believed to be significantly higher, as the analysis does not account for militia deaths in Russian-occupied regions of eastern Ukraine.

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Meanwhile, Ukraine has been reticent to disclose the full extent of its military casualties. President Volodymyr Zelensky previously stated that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed, although estimates based on US intelligence suggest the figure could be quite high.

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Volunteers collaborating with BBC and Mediazona have been monitoring the expansion of military graves in 70 cemeteries across Russia since the conflict began. Aerial imagery has shown substantial increases in graveyard size, with a significant portion of new burials believed to be those of soldiers killed in Ukraine.

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The analysis also highlights a concerning trend: approximately two in five of Russia's deceased fighters had no prior military affiliation before the invasion. This shift in personnel composition has raised questions about Russia's military capabilities and strategy moving forward.

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According to Samuel Cranny-Evans of the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), the influx of inexperienced recruits has necessitated simpler, more direct tactics on the battlefield. He notes that while Russia initially deployed professional troops for complex operations, many of these seasoned soldiers have since been killed or injured, leaving gaps filled by novices, volunteers, civilians, and even prisoners.

The Wagner group, a private military company with close ties to Moscow, has reportedly continued recruiting prisoners, offering minimal training before sending them to the front lines.

In India, several cases of individuals, including some other Asian countries, were recruited as army helpers through advertisements and subsequently deployed to fight in Ukraine with inadequate preparation and training. Despite appeals from their families, some of these individuals have tragically perished in the conflict, while others remain stranded or continue to serve in Russia. Some of them have returned to their respective homes after the intervention of New Delhi with Moscow officials.

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