Russia has lost 300 officers during its war in Ukraine, analysis shows

Russia has lost more than 300 officers during its war in Ukraine, analysis of public records reveals

  • 317 officers of rank Jr Lieutenant or above died in Ukraine, Russian paper says
  • Independent journalists analysed local government announcements, newspaper reports and social media posts to arrive at the staggering figure 
  • Almost a third of the officer deaths came from senior ranks of major or above 
  • Highest-ranking casualties Russia has acknowledged are two Major Generals 

Russia has lost more than 300 officers fighting in Ukraine, according to new data collected by an independent Russian newspaper.

In total, 317 officers of junior lieutenant rank and above have been killed in a little over two months of fighting, analysis by outlet MediaZona revealed today.

Almost a third came from the most senior grades – major or above – including at least two generals and the deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Vladimir Putin’s army has suffered heavy losses since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with the UK this week saying 15,000 troops have died.

Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky is one of the highest-ranking commanders that Russia has acknowledged were killed fighting in Ukraine

Mikhail Nagamov, 41 (left), and Alexander Chirva (right), are two of the most-recent officers Russia has admitted died in its war on Ukraine

MediaZona, which is currently blocked in Russia but continues to operate online, compiled its data by looking at public reports of troop deaths from local government officials, newspapers, or families posting on social media.

That means the figures will be far lower than the true total because of delays between the troops being killed and their deaths being reported, difficulties in identifying bodies, and deliberate cover-ups by Moscow.

In total, MediaZona found 1,744 reports of military deaths in Ukraine – higher than the Kremlin’s official figure of 1,351 which it has not updated since late March.

It found 317 of those deaths were of officers, which accounts for almost a fifth of the total figure.

MediaZona believes that is because officer deaths are more-likely to be reported than those of foot-soldiers.

The highest-ranked deaths that Russia has acknowledged are of Andrei Sukhovetsky and Vladimir Frolov, who were both Major Generals.

Russia has also acknowledged the death of Captain 1st Rank Andrei Paly, the deputy commander of its Black Sea fleet, MediaZona said.

Ukraine claims to have killed a total of 10 generals, including two who it says died at the weekend on a strike of a command post near the city of Kherson.

One more general was critically wounded in the strike, Kyiv claimed, adding that it believes a total of 50 officers were inside the post at the time it was blown up.

Despite Russia’s claims not to be sending conscripts to fight in Ukraine, MediaZona uncovered several cases where conscripts had been killed.

Pavel Pozanen, 20, died in fighting near Kharkiv, while Denis Yaroslavtsev, 18, and 19-year-old Alexander Bobrov were killed just over three months after being drafted in November last year.

Ukrainian commanders put the total number of Russian troops killed during the invasion at more than 22,000. British MPs were told Monday that 15,000 have died. 

The true figure is likely to remain a mystery amid reports that Russian troops are burning some of their dead on the battlefield, burying them in mass graves, or simply leaving bodies where they lie.

MediaZona figures also suggest 500 of the dead come from elite Russian units such as paratroopers, marines, and special forces.

It suggests these troops – which were among some of the first into battle around key target such as Kyiv – have borne some of the heaviest combat losses.

That could prove a problem for Russia as it tries to regroup and launch a fresh assault on the Donbas region after failing in its mission to take the capital.

Russia has acknowledged that Captain 1st Rank Andrei Paly, the deputy commander of its Black Sea fleet, has died – likely in the sinking of the Moskva battleship (pictured)

British intelligence said on Monday that Russian forces in the east of Ukraine have ‘yet to achieve any significant breakthrough’ in the region – with many units ‘exhausted’ from fighting elsewhere.

Ukrainian defenders holed up in the Azovstal steel work in Mariupol – which has now been under siege for months – are continuing to pin down ‘many’ Russian units which is stopping them from deploying to Donbas, the UK added.

While Putin’s men have made some small gains, they have come at a ‘high cost’ that analysts and observers have argued will be unsustainable in the long term.

Meanwhile the West has stepped up deliveries of arms and heavy equipment to Ukraine, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aim is to give Kyiv the weapons it needs to ‘win’ the war with Russia.

Austin added that the secondary goal is ‘to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine’.

His comments mark a significant departure from Washington’s aims early on in the conflict, which were to give Ukraine the means to defend itself.

But – in the wake of atrocities committed by Russian forces occupying the likes of Bucha and Irpin – the argument has shifted to giving Ukraine the means to recapture territory it has lost.

The US along with the UK, France and Canada are now starting to ship heavier weapons to Kyiv – including long-range artillery, helicopters and armoured vehicles.

Western nations are also striking agreements to back-fill stocks of old tanks held by ex-Soviet states if they supply them to Ukraine, with Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic taking up the offer.

Even Germany – which has for months opposed sending such weapons – today agreed to supply 50 anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine. 

Russia’s fallen generals 

General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26 

Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4

General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8

Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8

Major-General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March

Lt-Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19 

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25 

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev , commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25

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