December 3, 2023

The Ukrainian military on Sunday claimed to have killed nearly 1,000 more Russian soldiers as the conflict in the war-torn country continues.

Russian President Vladimir Putin first began his “special military operation” on Ukraine in February 2022 based on dubious claims of mistreatment of ethnic Russian residents and that the Ukrainian government was being run by Nazis, even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a native Russian speaker of Jewish heritage. The Eastern European country responded, however, with a stronger-than-expected defense effort, bolstered by Western aid, that has blunted Russian military gains.

Throughout the conflict, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has maintained a running tally of the casualties it has claimed to have inflicted on the Russian invaders, adding to the numbers daily, including both personnel killed and military hardware destroyed.

On Sunday, the general staff’s official Facebook page shared the latest update to these statistics, claiming that, over the course of Saturday, 990 Russian soldiers had died, bringing Ukraine’s claimed number of total Russian personnel deaths to over 305,000. Among the rest of the statistics, it was claimed that Russia lost eight tanks, 14 armored combat vehicles, 12 artillery systems, and six multiple-launch rocket systems. Newsweek could not independently verify these numbers.

ukraine russian casualties claim
Russian soldiers deployed in Ukraine. The Ukrainian army on Sunday claimed that nearly 1,000 Russian soldiers had been killed the previous day.
Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

“Strike the occupier! Let’s win together! Our strength is in the truth!” the official post read.

Russia itself has only ever acknowledged a much lower number of its own casualties. In a report from July, the Associated Press said that “neither Moscow nor Kyiv gives timely data on military losses, and each is at pains to amplify the other side’s casualties,” leading to some scrutiny of the Ukrainian army’s ongoing statistics.

The most recent estimates from the U.S. government found that around 120,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the conflict, as of August 18. Around the same time, the estimate from Kyiv was over 250,000. At the end of October, the British government estimated that Russian forces had suffered between 150,000 and 190,000 personnel losses.

It was recently reported that Russian forces had experienced a sharp uptick in casualties that coincided with their attempts to take control of Avdiivka, a town in the east of Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, which started near the beginning of October. Daily reports in early July from the Ukrainian government about Russian casualties tended to hover in the range of 300 to 600 a day. Since the start of the Avdiivka offense, these daily figures have jumped to between 600 and 1,000.

The total number of Russian casualties reported by Ukraine reached the grim milestone of 300,000 earlier this week. A total of 830 deaths were claimed on Friday.

Newsweek reached out to foreign defense officials via email for comment.