According to findings from an investigative news platform, Russian authorities have discreetly procured 230,000 certificates intended for relatives of fallen veterans. This discovery provides a glimpse into the potential magnitude of Russia’s casualties in its ongoing 19-month conflict in Ukraine.
The certificate procurement was made by Russia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development, as revealed by the independent Russian news source Verstka. This news might hint at the extent of the Russian military’s casualties in Ukraine, contrary to the official figures released by Moscow.
“Russia’s official narrative states that only a few thousand of their troops have died in this ‘special military operation.’ However, indirect data, like the certificate orders, suggest otherwise,” mentioned Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Verstka highlighted that, based on data from the Russian state procurement website, the ministry has requisitioned over 750,000 certificates for combat veterans and an additional 230,000 for the families of fallen veterans. Since the war’s onset in Ukraine, over 900,000 certificates for combat veterans have been requisitioned.
These numbers are yet to be confirmed by Newsweek. The publication has sought clarification from Russia’s Defense Ministry.
The Russian casualty count persists in climbing due to Ukraine’s aggressive efforts to reclaim occupied regions. Data from Ukraine’s military suggests that over 270,000 Russian soldiers have fallen during Ukraine’s invasion. In their daily war updates, Ukraine’s Armed Forces have recorded 520 Russian troop fatalities within the last 24 hours, tallying the total at 273,460.
Casualty estimates differ, with numbers from Kyiv often surpassing those of Western allies.
Rarely does Russia disclose its troop loss figures. In September 2022, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported that 5,937 Russian soldiers had been lost since the commencement of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
While Ukraine is also reticent about releasing its troop casualties, Western intelligence indicates significant losses. In April, a confidential assessment from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency suggested that Ukrainian casualties be between 124,500-131,000, encompassing 15,500-17,500 fatalities and 109,000-113,500 injuries.