As of December 5, British intelligence has provided an update on the Ukraine War, offering estimates on the casualties suffered by Russian forces since the conflict began on February 24, 2022. The information suggests a significant toll on Russian military personnel, including both official Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) forces and Wagner Group mercenaries.
According to British intelligence, between February 24, 2022, and November 2023, official Russian MoD forces likely experienced casualties with approximately 50,000 killed and between 180,000 and 240,000 wounded. Wagner Group mercenaries, who operate separately from official Russian military forces, are estimated to have suffered around 20,000 killed and approximately 40,000 wounded during the same period.
The overall assessment indicates that the Russian side has likely incurred a total of around 70,000 killed and between 220,000 and 280,000 wounded among its combatants. This translates to an estimated range of 290,000 to 350,000 total Russian combatant casualties. The median of the estimate range is 320,000 total Russian combatant casualties.
The report also notes that there may be a low level of understanding among Russian officials about the true extent of casualties due to a long-established culture of dishonest reporting within the military. This lack of transparency could contribute to a limited awareness of the actual figures even within the Russian military hierarchy.
As the conflict continues, the estimates provided by British intelligence offer insight into the human cost experienced by Russian forces in the ongoing Ukraine War. The information underscores the challenges and toll faced by military personnel involved in the conflict, with implications for the broader geopolitical landscape.