63 or 400 Russian soldiers killed in a Ukrainian strike? The difficult count of war dead in Ukraine

The other war: that of information. Since the start of its military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian army, which speaks very little of the number of dead and wounded in its ranks, had never reported such heavy losses suffered in a single attack.

>> War in Ukraine: at least 63 Russian soldiers killed in a strike

However, Monday, January 2, Moscow recognized the death of 63 soldiers in Ukraine, killed in a Ukrainian strike in separatist territory in the east of the country. This is one of the heaviest losses in a single attack admitted by Moscow since the beginning of the invasion. The Ukrainian Armed Forces Strategic Communications Department confirmed that it carried out the strike on Makiivka, a Russian-occupied town east of the separatist city of Donetsk, on New Year’s Eve, saying nearly 400 Russian soldiers were killed, before that the General Staff declares that a balance sheet of human “losses” was being drawn up.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the missiles were fired by HIMARS systems, a weapon supplied by the United States to Ukrainian forces and which struck “a temporary deployment center” of the Russian army in Makiïvka. The announcement of these heavy losses immediately provoked criticism of the Russian military command, accused in particular by the former separatist leader Igor Strelkov, very aware of the situation on the ground, of storing ammunition in this unprotected building.

200,000 dead according to the United States

Since the beginning of the “special operation” defended by the Kremlin, the Russian army has only very rarely given an assessment of its offensive or communicated on its losses. And the secret on the number of victims is a well-kept secret. Moreover, it is as much on the Russian side as on the Ukrainian side.

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If we take into account the official balance sheets, to date, the war would have caused between 10 and 13,000 deaths in the army of kyiv. This tendency is signed by an adviser to the presidency who spoke on television at the beginning of December. If we place ourselves in the Russian camp, the latest figure claimed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revolves around 6,000 soldiers who died in combat. But that figure is from September 2022 and seems much lower than most Western estimates. It must be said that in the field, propaganda is law, like this New Year’s bombardment, where the human toll can be multiplied by six.

In this context, we can retain the assessment of the Americans who speak of 100,000 Russian victims killed since February and who count as many on the Ukrainian side. Finally, there remains the number of dead civilians: they would be more than 6700, according to the UN.

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