Speed Reads

no clear numbers

How many Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine? Russia says about 500. Ukraine says 6,000.

For the first time since invading Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry released a casualty report on Wednesday.

According to The Associated Press and NPR, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said 498 Russian soldiers have been killed and 1,597 wounded.

Ukraine disputes this number. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that nearly 6,000 Russian troops — a figure 12 times higher than that provided by Konashenkov — have been killed since the invasion began, CNN reported.

Konashenkov also gave casualty numbers for the Ukrainian military: more than 2,870 killed, around 3,700 wounded, and 572 captured, according to Al Jazeera.

There are no Ukrainian numbers to which this claim can be compared. Zelensky's office said at least 30 Ukrainian soldiers died on the first day of the invasion last week. A regional governor relayed news of an additional 70 military deaths on Tuesday, according to AP. Other than those two reports, Ukrainian sources have been reticent to share information about military casualties.

Ukraine has, however, been forthcoming about civilian casualties. The country's emergency services say 2,000 civilians have been killed. Once again, though, these numbers have not been independently verified. The United Nations said Tuesday that it could confirm only 136 civilian deaths since the invasion began.

Konashenkov's announcement did not include any estimate of how many Ukrainian civilians Russia's military has killed.