Losses in the battle for Vuhlehirsk/Debaltseve; discussion of overall losses

From 26 January 2015 until 2 February 2015:

Army of the Russian Federation:  “200” – 398  “300” – 628  ТМН – 109
tanks/armored vehicles: 37  аrtillery: 21, other devices: 4

Illegal armed groups: “200” – 1181  “300” – 3022  ТМН – ?
tanks/armored vehicles: 8

Losses of the Ukrainian armed forces: “200” – 107  “300” – 469  ТМН – 31
tanks/armored vehicles: 17  artillery: 14.

As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reports, quoting “German security circles” Ukrainian losses go up to 50.000 (dead civilians and soldiers).

This number has not to be taken seriously for two resons: It contradicts the numbers of all available Russian/Ukrainian sources. Second, Russian losses are not mentioned. We have to assume that leaking such a high number rather reflects political goals, i.e. to show the incapability of the Ukrainian army and to support Merkel’s cease-fire (and the number is gratefully used by Russian propaganda). It is also useful to remind that in November 2014, the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) had come up with the (false) information that MH-17 had been shot down by “pro-Russian separatists who had captured a Ukrainian Buk“.

It is certain that official military losses of Ukraine are more than the registered 1.200 men, and could be between 3000 and 5000. Ukrainian civilian dead constitute around 5.400 according to the Ukrainian President; but it is unclear how many of the killed volunteer-fighters are in this category. Losses of the Russian army are 6441 men (as of 8 February 2015 with some 3000 missing). According to battle reports regularly published on censor.net.ua and other sites, losses of illegal armed groups might be estimated around three times higher. Their composition has varied, but some of them from the beginning had a heavy percentage of volunteers from the Russian Federation. As a rule, those dead have not been counted. Bodies, also of regular Russian soldiers, have diasppeared in mine shafts, with “humanitarian” convoys or by using mobile crematoria.

So, the German number might indeed reflect the number of total dead in Russia’s war against Ukraine, INCLUDING Russian soldiers and volunteers/members of illegal armed groups originating from the Russian Federation.

This number also contains a very important information, not mentioned for political reasons: The losses of the Russian side have been much higher, and underline the inhuman character of its political regime and military campaign.


About osteuropa news

Eastern European area studies in English and Germanm
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