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Russia Loses 6,700 Soldiers, 88 Tanks in One Week: Kyiv

Over the last seven days, Russia has faced some of its highest losses of troops and equipment since the start of the war in Ukraine, according to Kyiv.

The latest figures from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Saturday show that Russia had lost 930 soldiers over the previous day. There were three days this week in which Ukraine claimed more than 1,000 Russian troop losses. They were on Friday (1,090), Thursday (1,300), and Monday (1,030). Meanwhile, on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, there were 700, 800 and 850 Russian losses respectively, taking Kyiv’s total for the week to 6,700. Newsweek has as yet been unable to verify these figures independently.

Since the start of Vladimir Putin‘s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Kyiv’s estimates of Russian losses were roughly between 400 and 600 for the first 10 months or so, although there were spikes of over 800 losses. Newsweek emailed the Russian Defense Ministry for comment on Saturday.

An exact number of Russian casualties is difficult to come by, with Ukraine’s figures higher than other estimates. At the end of October, British defense officials said Russian losses totaled up to 190,000 personnel, including those killed and permanently injured, but this number did not include Wagner Group mercenaries.

February 6, 2023 saw the tally go over 1,000 for the first time, when it hit 1,030. The four-figure daily toll has been a more regular feature over the last few months, particularly since October, when Russia launched its offensive for Avdiivka, in the Donetsk oblast. The toll peaked at 1,380 on October 19, and the latest figures, according to Ukraine, puts Russian losses at 344,820.

Ukraine’s figures this week also registered 88 tank losses over the last week, taking the tally since the start of the war to 5,720.

Ukrainian tank crews
This illustrative image shows Ukrainian tank crews take part in a military drill not far from the front line in the Bakhmut direction. Ukraine’s daily tally of Russian losses has topped 1,000 three times in one week.
Anatolii Stepanov/Getty Images

Using public data, the investigation outlet Mediazona and the BBC News Russian service said on December 15 that 39,424 Russian soldiers had been killed, although the outlets accept the actual death toll “is likely significantly higher.”

On December 12, a U.S. intelligence report cited by Reuters said that Russia had began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine with 360,000 personnel, but now 87 percent of them have reportedly been killed or injured.

Meanwhile, Andrii Yusov, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency (HUR) spokesperson, rejected Vladimir Putin’s claims made during his Direct Line television Q&A that there were 617,000 Russian troops deployed in Ukraine, saying in fact the number was 450,000.

“The enemy is giving distorted data to increase information pressure on our country,” Yusov said.

Next year, Russia is expected to launch a new mobilization drive, most likely after the presidential elections in March. Putin declared a partial mobilization of 300,000 personnel in September 2022.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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