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Putin announces Russia's losses: ISW explains accuracy of this data

Putin announces Russia's losses: ISW explains accuracy of this data Losses announced by Putin are close to reality (photo: Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the Russian army loses 20,000 combat troops in Ukraine every month. This figure is close to the number of new servicemen mobilized by the Russian Federation for war every month, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to analysts, Putin has suggested that 5,000 Russian soldiers die in combat in Ukraine every month. Considering the standard ratio of wounded to killed as three to one, approximately 15,000 Russian servicemen are wounded every month.

The ISW cannot confirm the losses mentioned by Putin, but this number coincides with the lower limit of reports from Ukraine about the losses of the Russian army.

Commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces Oleksandr Pavliuk stated at the beginning of May that Russian forces lose between 25,000 and 30,000 killed and wounded every month.

In mid-January of this year, the Deputy Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Vadym Skibitskyi, reported that Russia is recruiting about 30,000 people per month.

In April, the head of the Moscow Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a member of the Civil Advisory Council at the Russian Ministry of Defense, Ruslan Pukhov, also stated that the cryptomobilization campaign of the aggressor state is recruiting about 30,000 new servicemen every month.

However, the ISW report notes that Russian officials are concerned about the decrease in recruitment rates ahead of the planned summer offensive in 2024. It is also unknown whether the Russian Ministry of Defense has been able to maintain recruitment levels at around 30,000 people per month.

Additionally, over the past few months, Russian forces have created a more resilient force generation apparatus for current offensive operations and have begun more actively forming reserves at the operational and strategic levels.

During this period, Russian forces used their initiative across the entire theater of operations in Ukraine to dictate the pace of operations, which would result in losses approximately equal to or slightly less than the losses of newly formed forces.

"This has allowed Russian forces to immediately replenish losses along the frontline and sustain their overall offensive tempo in Ukraine but has set limits on the extent to which Russian forces can intensify offensive operations in any given direction," the ISW report said.

According to analysts, the small number of additional newly formed forces that did not immediately deploy to the front as reinforcements allowed Russian forces to gradually form operational reserves.

In early May, Lieutenant General Pavliuk stated that Russian forces intend to prepare another approximately 100,000 servicemen for participation in offensive operations in June and July of this year and to prepare another 300,000 servicemen by the end of 2024.

"ISW continues to assess that likely poorly trained and equipped Russian operational- and strategic-level reserves are unlikely to be ready to act as a first-echelon penetration force or as a second-echelon exploitation force capable of conducting large-scale assaults in 2024 if Ukrainian forces have the wherewithal to resist them," the report said.

Losses of the Russian army

The Russian army command is concealing data on personnel losses in the war in Ukraine. Also unknown or classified are the losses of private military companies and other formations of the enemy army.

According to the latest data from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, since February 2022, Russia has lost 515,000 soldiers in the war. In just the past day, Ukrainian defenders have eliminated 1,300 soldiers.

According to the MDI, Russia has concentrated about 550,000 personnel on the border and in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. However, this includes not only soldiers but also the FSB and other units.