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Media learns Wagner losses during Bakhmut assaults: Almost 90% were prisoners

Media learns Wagner losses during Bakhmut assaults: Almost 90% were prisoners Photo: mercenaries of Wagner PMC (Getty Images)

During the assaults on Bakhmut, the Wagner PMC lost at least 19,547 fighters killed, of whom over 17,000 were prisoners, according to a joint investigation by Mediazona and the BBC Russian Service.

The agencies obtained access to a database of Wagner PMC mercenaries killed between January 2022 and August 2023.

Most of the Wagner fighters—19,547 individuals—were killed during the months-long battles for Bakhmut. Of these, 17,175 were prisoners, and the rest were voluntary mercenaries.

The investigation indicates that the list is missing a little more than a thousand names (6% of all Wagner fighters mentioned in the document), but this does not hinder the analysis of losses by days and categories of the deceased, as each army token clearly indicates whether the person was recruited from a colony or was a civilian.

Data from the tags of the killed prisoners indicate that Wagner recruited at least 48,366 prisoners.

The markings on each tag began with the letter C—likely referencing the word colony. Two-thirds of the colonies where recruitment took place were high-security facilities. The most recruits came from the high-security Krasnoyarsk IK-6 colony—more than 500 individuals.

The source notes that Wagner PMC spent around 108 billion rubles on posthumous compensations to their relatives. This amount does not include compensation for injuries and a significant portion of salaries.

Earlier, we reported that Russia continues the tactic of "meat" assaults, relying on the number of soldiers in the war. Media outlets have established that prisoners recruited by the Russian Ministry of Defense die at the front within two months of deployment.