The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged it has lost nearly 500 soldiers since invading Ukraine. This is its first announcement on its estimated deaths.
The ministry announced 498 soldiers have died and another 1,597 have been injured, according to a tweet from Washington Post journalist Mary Ilyushina. However, a Ukrainian military adviser told Reuters more than 7,000 Russian troops have died and hundreds have been taken prisoner since the beginning of the invasion.
Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told The New York Times Ukrainian losses are “many times higher” than Russian ones, however this claim has not yet been verified.
According to the report, officials at the Pentagon have estimated about 1,500 deaths on each side in the first five days of the invasion based on communication interception, satellite imagery and reports from news and social.
Ukrainian officials have acknowledged casualties on their side and estimated that the number of Russian casualties is higher than theirs. Russia’s armed forces employ a mix of contract soldiers and draftees. Konashenkov said Russian draftees were not fighting in Ukraine.
“I want to emphasize once again that neither conscripts nor cadets of educational institutions of the Russian Ministry of Defense are participating in a special operation,” he said. “The information spread by many Western and individual Russian media about the supposedly ‘innumerable’ losses of the Russian force is deliberate disinformation.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK