Pro-Kremlin tabloid briefly publishes death toll

A pro-Kremlin tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda, briefly published the country’s death toll since the start of the invasion of Ukraine before removing the figures from an article on its site.

In a word

According to the publication, the Russian Defense Ministry said that 9,861 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine and 16,153 have been injured since the start of the conflict. This is the second time figures have been released since Putin sent forces to Ukraine on February 24.

On March 2, the country’s defense ministry said 498 Russian soldiers had been killed.

If the figures released on Monday are correct, it would mean that “Russia is on course to lose more soldiers in Ukraine in mid-April than it lost in the entire Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s”, Derek Thompson, editor at The Atlantic said.

Although the article has now been removed from posting, Yaroslav Trofimov, chief foreign affairs correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, posted a screenshot of the numbers on Twitter.

Trofimov posted: “Komsomolskaya Pravda, the pro-Kremlin tabloid, says that according to Russian Defense Ministry figures, 9,861 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine and 16,153 were injured.

“Last official Russian KIA figure on March 2 was 498. Fascinating that someone released the leaked number.”

Other estimates

Last Monday, the Ukrainian Defense Forces announced that around 5,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the conflict.

US authorities estimated last week that more than 7,000 Russian soldiers had died. The New York Times said this was “the conservative side of the estimate”.

Jacob L. Thornton