In early September 2022, a leaked report showed that the Russian military suffered massive losses.
The report revealed that by August 28, 2022, the Russian government had paid out $361.4 billion rubles in killed-in-action insurance claims that go to family members. That would mean almost 49,000 Russian soldiers are confirmed dead.
The document leaked from RUS MinFin says that by AUG 28, 361.4B RUB has been paid to families of KIA soldiers, 7.4M per one. Dividing would give 48838 confirmed dead. This does not include those MIA, killed separatists and WIA. Thus, UKR estimate may well be an UNDERSTATEMENT. pic.twitter.com/zDn1pqkyav
— MTÜ Vaba Ukraina (@SvenSalumets) September 7, 2022
This seems to coincide with a report given by the Kremlin in April of 2022:
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, said on Thursday that the country had “significant losses of troops and it’s a huge tragedy for us” during an interview on Sky News.
The frank admission of the scale of Russian losses is rare among government officials, who have consistently assured the public and Vladimir Putin that Russia’s “special operation” is going according to plan.
In an attempt at damage control on Friday, Peskov said he was referring to the official defence ministry numbers of 1,351 soldiers killed since Russia launched its invasion on 24 February.
“You and I have the same numbers as those published by the defence ministry,” Peskov said. “This is a substantial number.”
In light of the losses and reports that forces in Ukraine are re-taking ground, Putin is activating 300,000 members of his reserves.
Putin signed a decree on partially mobilizing Russia’s reserves, arguing that Russian soldiers were effectively facing the full force of the “collective West” which has been supplying Kyiv’s forces with advanced weapons, training and intelligence.
Speaking shortly after Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia would draft some 300,000 additional personnel out of some 25 million potential fighters at Moscow’s disposal.
The mobilization, the first since the Soviet Union battled Nazi Germany in World War Two, begins immediately.
The news did not go over well.
According to a report from CNBC, around 1,300 people were arrested or detained in cities across Russia after Putin’s address:
More than 1,300 people have been arrested in Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s call-up of extra forces to fight in Ukraine, according to independent human rights group OVD-Info.
Around 1,307 people were reportedly detained in 39 cities across the country as of Thursday morning, with the largest numbers arrested in the capital city of Moscow (at least 527) and St. Petersburg (at least 480).
Nearly 50 people were arrested in the country’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg, while dozens were also detained in several Siberian cities.
— Oliya Scootercaster (@ScooterCasterNY) September 21, 2022
Moscow. Another video of protesters running away from several police officers. What a gap it is from Ukrainians who stopped Russian tanks with their bare hands… pic.twitter.com/PGofmp6Wmy
— UkraineWorld (@ukraine_world) September 21, 2022