A year after Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine the war rages on and the casualties continue to rise.

The one-year anniversary marks a grim milestone for both sides as they count their losses.

Putin indicated his resolve to fight on in his annual speech this week.

Despite heavy losses and the need to introduce military conscription, he said: “They (the West) started the war.

“And we used force and are using force to stop it.”

We take a look at the cost of his “special military operation” to his armed forces.

How many Russians have died in Ukraine?

The death toll for Russian servicemen and women in the war with Ukraine is difficult to establish definitively.

According to the latest assessment by Ukraine’s armed forces, Russia has lost 146,820 service personnel killed in action, a further 440,460 have been wounded and around 1,000 are prisoners of war.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) estimates the Russian armed forces have sustained up to 200,000 casualties, of which up to 60,000 were killed.

By contrast, Ukraine’s military casualties are estimated to be around 100,000 in total.

Figures from Russian independent media outlet Mediazone and BBC News Russian, up to 12 February, put the deaths of Russian service personnel at 14,093.

However, this is believed to be a conservative estimate based on available open source data.

While the Russian Defence Ministry admitted in September last year to 5,937 military deaths in the war with Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center left, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, near the Kremlin Wall during the national celebrations of the "Defender of the Fatherland Day" in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. The Defenders of the Fatherland Day, celebrated in Russia on Feb. 23, honors the nation's military and is a nationwide holiday. (Valery Sharifulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Vladimir Putin, centre left, attends a ceremony in Moscow commemorating those killed in war (Photo: Valery Sharifulin/AP/Sputnik)

What we know about Putin’s losses

The Russian casualty rate has “significantly increased” since September 2022 when Putin imposed “partial mobilisation”, according to the Ministry of Defence.

A study by Mediazona and BBC News Russian found 11.8 per cent of those reported to have been killed so far were officers, 13.3 per cent were motorised rifle troops and 10.4 per cent were from the Russian Airborne Forces.

Statistics from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, to mark the first anniversary since the invasion, claim Russia has also lost 6,600 armoured combat vehicles, 3,363 tanks, 2,363 artillery, 299 aircraft, 287 helicopters and 18 ships and boats.

Civilian death toll

Aside from the military losses, there has been a heavy human price paid by civilians in Ukraine during the war so far.

A UN human rights office statement on 21 February revealed at least 8,000 civilians had been killed in Ukraine since the start of the invasion and nearly 13,300 injured.

Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. said civilians have been killed “in their homes and while simply trying to meet their essential needs, such as collecting water and buying food”.

By admin