Death rate of Russian soldiers at its highest since first week of war
12th February 2023

Death rate of Russian soldiers is at its highest since first week of Ukraine war with 824 dying every day in February, Ukrainian data reveals

  • Daily average number of Russian soldiers dying in Ukraine is at 824, data shows 
  • Read more: Poland warns sending jets to Kyiv ‘not an easy decision’  

Russian soldiers in Ukraine are dying in greater numbers this month than at any time since the beginning of the invasion, data shows. 

Ukrainian data shows that an average of 824 Russian soldiers have died every day in February. 

The figures were highlighted by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and are ‘likely accurate’, although they cannot be officially verified. 

The increase comes as rumours circulate about a Russian spring offensive in the east of the country. 

Last week Ukraine’s outgoing defence minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, said the new offensive is expected around February 24, which is the first anniversary of the full-scale invasion.  

An average of 824 Russian soldiers have died daily throughout February, figures show, as the war rages on (file image)

The battle for the small coal-mining town of Vuhledar on Ukraine’s eastern front line is a key fight in the Russia-Ukraine war (damaged Russian tanks)

In the first week of the invasion an average of 1,140 Russian soldiers were killed every day but over the course of the last year this has fallen. 

In June the average was 172 before it rose again to 559 in November. 

The death rate in 2023 so far has been consistently higher and is now nearly four times what it was last summer. 

The Ministry of Defence emphasised that the Ukrainian forces are also suffering a high death rate. 

The leader of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner said Sunday that his troops had taken an eastern Ukrainian village a few kilometres from the key city of Bakhmut which Moscow has been trying to capture for months.

‘Today, Wagner’s assault units took the town of Krasna Hora,’ Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement.

Reporters have been unable to independently verify these claims.  

Experts have debated the strategic importance of Bakhmut, but the city has turned into a key political and symbolic prize as the battle has dragged on.

Rivalry between the paramilitary Wagner group and the Russian army have come to the surface during the fight for Bakhmut – though the Kremlin denies any rift.

A Ukrainian serviceman hols a mortar shell near a front line position in Donetsk on Saturday. President Zelensky has called for the West to send more heavy weaponry to the beleaguered country 

Oleksiy Reznikov, said the new Russian offensive is expected around February 24, the anniversary of the initial invasion 

On January 11 Prigozhin claimed his fighters had taken control of the city of Soledar, a salt-mining town with a pre-war population of around 10,000 near Bakhmut.

The Russian defence ministry only said two days later that Moscow’s forces were controlling the town.

‘After the capture of Soledar and the mass hype saying that there were other (soldiers) besides Wagner in Soledar, of course, the guys were very frustrated,’ Prigozhin said Sunday.

‘Within a 50 kilometres (31 miles) radius, more or less, only Wagner fighters remain, and they will take Bakhmut,’ he added.

President Zelensky, who appeared in Westminster Hall last week, has been asking Western countries to provide fighter jets to aid Ukraine. 

The US has agreed to send long-range missiles but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has not yet committed to sending planes. 

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