Modern Day, News, WW1

Ukraine: Has Russia Lost More Troops Than the US did in WW1

  • Russo-Ukrainian tensions started in 2014 after the Ukrainian Revolution. Consequently, Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
  • The Ukrainian military claims that Russia has lost around 117,000 soldiers since the invasion.
  • According to the claim, Russian casualties exceeds that of the U.S. in WW1.
  • Strangely, Russia has remained quiet and reported only 6000 deaths so far.

According to Ukraine, Russia has lost an estimated 117,000 soldiers since the beginning of its full-scale invasion. On 17 January 2023, Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed that they killed exactly 116,950 Russian soldiers. Still, the number remains unverified. 

Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, reported killing 870 Russian soldiers on 16th January alone. In comparison, the US lost 116,516 soldiers during World War One. However, only 54,000 of these were actual combat deaths.

US Cemetery
A U.S cemetery being built just after WW1 in France.

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On the other hand, Soviet Russia lost 1.8 million combatants in World War One. 

Newsweek reported that if the numbers presented by Ukraine are accurate, then the Kremlin has already lost more than the US did in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.

Kyiv’s latest tallies appear consistent with U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley. In November, Gen. Milley presented the human cost of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The Chairman estimated that the Russian Military had lost at least 100,000 soldiers in Ukraine. He added that Kyiv “probably” suffered similar casualties. 

Moscow has been tight-lipped since. The country reported only 6,000 deaths. However, it is worth noting that the figure does not include mercenaries from the Wagner Group. The private military company has waged the bloodiest battles in eastern Ukraine.

Russo-Ukrainian War 2022

The conflict began in 2014 over disputed land. After the ‘Revolution of Dignity,’ Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022 as a part of Vladimir Putin’s ‘Special Military Operation’. The Revolution of Dignity – aka Ukraine Revolution’ – started in 2014.

The invasion began on 24 February 2022, when Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a “Special Military Operation”. The operation sought the “demilitarisation” and “denazification” of Ukraine.

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Tensions reached new heights when Russia annexed Crimea. Meanwhile, Russian-backed paramilitaries captured part of the Donbas area of South-Eastern Ukraine, which consists of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The land grab sparked a regional war. 

The invasion has resulted in thousands upon thousands of deaths on both sides. It has even created Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War Two. About 8 million Ukrainians moved within their country by May. More than 7.9 million moved out.

The Humanitarian Impact 

The humanitarian impact of the war has been extensive. The biggest drawback? The food crisis. 

In December 2021, the Ukrainian Defence Minister estimated that an invasion could force three to five million people to leave their homes behind. Most refugees were women, children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.

Russia Invades.
Map showing the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Has Russia bitten off more than it can chew though?

Most male Ukrainian nationals aged between 18 and 60 were denied exit because of mandatory conscription. Only males financially supporting three or more children, single fathers, or parents/guardians of children with disabilities were allowed to exit.

Nevertheless, many Ukrainian men, including teenagers, stepped up. A large fraction opted to remain in Ukraine voluntarily to join the resistance.

The ongoing war has also harmed the cultural heritage of Ukraine. Over 500 Ukrainian cultural heritage sites, including cultural centers, theatres, museums, and churches, have been damaged by “Russian aggression.”

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Ukraine’s Minister of Culture has called it a cultural genocide. The deliberate destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage is no less than a war crime.

Peace Efforts for Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine initiated peace negotiations on 28 February 2022. The efforts extended further on 3 March and 7 March 2022 at an undisclosed location in the Gomel Region on Belarus–Ukraine border.

Further talks occurred on 10 March 2022 in Turkey before a fourth round of negotiations on 14 March. Currently, peace talks are at a standstill.