Russia Quietly Orders 230k Certificates for Families of Dead Soldiers

Russian authorities have quietly ordered 230,000 certificates for family members of deceased veterans, an investigative news outlet has found, giving a rare insight into the scale of the death toll sustained by Moscow in the nearly 19-month-old war in Ukraine.

The certificates were ordered by Russia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development, independent Russian-language news outlet Verstka found on Monday, reporting that Moscow has inadvertently revealed the scale of possible losses among Russia’s military in Ukraine.

“Russia claims that only several thousand of its soldiers were killed in the ‘special military operation’. The indirect numbers, like these certificate orders, give a clearer picture,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The ministry ordered more than 750,000 certificates for veterans of combat operations and 230,000 certificates for family members of deceased veterans, the publication found, citing data published on the Russian state procurement portal.

Verstka reported that the figures may indirectly indicate the approximate scale of the Russian losses in the war. According to the news outlet, in total, more than 900,000 combat veterans’ certificates have been ordered since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

The figures have not been independently verified by Newsweek. Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Defense Ministry via email for comment.

Russia’s death toll continues to rise amid a counteroffensive from Ukraine to recapture its occupied territories. According to figures released by Kyiv’s military, more than 270,000 Russian troops have been “liquidated” in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

As part of its daily update on the war, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces posts figures on Russia’s troop and equipment losses. Moscow lost 520 soldiers over the past 24 hours, according to the military’s Tuesday casualty toll of Russian troops-bringing the total to 273,460.

Estimates of casualty figures vary, with Kyiv’s figures usually exceeding those of its Western allies.

Russia itself rarely releases figures on troop losses. In September 2022, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 5,937 Russian troops had been killed in the war in Ukraine since February 24, 2022.

Ukraine similarly avoids publishing casualty figures for its own forces; however, Western intelligence estimates suggest they are also substantial. In April, a leaked U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency assessment estimated that Kyiv had suffered 124,500-131,000 casualties, including 15,500-17,500 dead and 109,000-113,500 wounded.

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  1. 230,000 is just those they know about. How many have just been left to rot in trenches, or blown into bits?

    • Enough that Ukraine should consider changing the name of the Sunflowers to Orcflowers.
      900,000 “veterans” of putin’s war sounds about right. I would guess more than 700k of them are Cargo 200 or Cargo 300

  2. The number of certificates is not really indicative. The US had more than one million Purple Heart medals prepared for the invasion of Japan. The invasion never took place, and they are still using that stockpile today. They aren’t even close to exhausting it.

    Having said that, It is entirely possible they actually need that many, and I suspect they will need far more before Putin’s insanity drags them to perdition.

  3. I think this is only half of what their losses really are. Maybe even less. For every official death, they must (?) pay compensation.

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