Russia's irretrievable losses in the war with Ukraine may total over 90,000 servicemen, investigative outlet iStories reported on 12 October, citing two sources – a former Russian special services officer, as well as a current FSB officer.
Irretrievable losses refer to the number of people killed or missing in action, as well as those that died from their wounds in hospitals, and the wounded who can no longer return to military service.
The last time the Russian Defense Ministry reported on army losses was in September – the day Vladimir Putin announced the “partial mobilization” of an additional 300,000 reservists. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu then claimed that 5,937 Russian servicemen had died in the war. He did not name the number of wounded, but assured that more than 90% of them had allegedly returned to active service. Since the start of the war, the Russian Ministry of Defense has mentioned the number of killed Russian servicemen only three times.
On October 11, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) stated that more than 63,000 Russian servicemen had been killed during the war. Ukraine has also reported the destruction of 2,513 tanks, 5,175 armored vehicles, 1,506 artillery systems, 353 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 181 units of air defense equipment, 269 aircraft and 235 helicopters.
The figure cited by iStories is close to the estimate given in early September by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. Wallace claimed that more than 25,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in Ukraine, while the total number of casualties was more than 80,000. «We pretty much accept, well, we do accept, the sort of observations of Russian losses to be – if you combine deaths, injuries, desertions – over 80,000 of their armed forces. That’s 80,000 in six months compared to 15,000 they lost in a decade in Afghanistan,» he said.