The Russian Defense Ministry regularly reports on the successes of the Russian army in the war in Ukraine, including the destruction of military equipment. As Proekt found out, the agency is lying, because according to those reports, Russia has already destroyed more equipment than Ukraine ever had, taking into account Western supplies.
General Igor Konashenkov, the ministry’s spokesman, holds briefings where he cites “official data” for the Russian public.
For example, on the first day of the war, February 24, Konashenkov reported: “As a result of the strikes by the Russian armed forces, Ukraine's 74 military infrastructure facilities were taken out.” Among those facilities he listed 11 airfields, four Bayraktar drones, 18 radar stations, three command and control centers, a naval base and one helicopter.” If you count the listed items, it turns out their number is only 37, i.e. half the number he mentioned. Also, the Russian Defense Ministry had said that Ukraine had 152 aircraft before the war, but by June 26, Konashenkov reported that 215 aircraft had been destroyed. In addition, according to the ministry, the Russian military shot down 84 of the 36 Bayraktar drones Ukraine had.
The publication also drew attention to the “vocabulary” of the Defense Ministry. Besides calling the war a “special operation,” the ministry uses the phrase “cleansing of nationalists” or simply “cleansing” instead of “street fighting”. AFU servicemen are always referred to as “nationalists, militants, and Nazis,” while a Russian army retreat is referred to as “a planned regrouping of troops.” At the same time, the publication noted there had been a lot of such “planned regroupings,” i.e. retreats. Instead of saying that a Ukrainian city has been captured, the Defense Ministry reports that the city “has been taken under control.”
In addition, Konashenkov has on several occasions reported the same population center to have been “taken under control” multiple times. No less than 25 settlements were captured more than once.
In early June, the BBC's Russian Service, citing a senior Western intelligence officer, claimed that the number of Russian military personnel killed during the war in Ukraine could be as high as 20,000.