It’s almost impossible to learn the exact number of casualties the Russians have suffered thus far in their war on Ukraine. The war is not going as expected for them, and the Kremlin keeps the exact numbers of its dead soldiers close to their vest. It is Putin’s attempt to appease his people and retain a firm grip on the reigns of control.

There exist, however, reliable estimates of combat losses.

Russian Combat Losses

The US intelligence community has conservatively estimated that more than 7,000 Russian warfighters have died in Ukraine since they invaded that country in late February. If that is the case, it is greater than the number of Russian soldiers killed in the first two years of the Chechen war.

On the Ukrainian side, they estimate that they have killed more than 15,000 Russian invaders in the first month of the war. If this is the case, it rivals the number of losses the Soviets took in their decade-long campaign in Afghanistan. That war, of course, saw Ivan withdraw from the country defeated, only to witness the fall of the Soviet Union shortly after that.

When we factor in the number of Russian troops who have been injured, captured, or have gone missing in action (in addition to those killed in action), NATO estimates that figure to be close to 40,000. Those are some hefty losses for only a little over one month of combat operations.

Where are all the bodies?

For the sake of argument, assume the Russians have suffered 7,000 KIA (killed in action) to date. That’s a lot of bodies. Where did they all go? If an American warfighter dies in a conflict, we make every effort to get their remains back home. The same cannot be said for the Russians.

A mobile Russian crematorium used to incinerate war dead.
A mobile Russian crematorium used to incinerate war dead. (Youtube/zaoTurmalin/New York Post)

Ukrainian President Zelensky informed his people early in the conflict that Russian troops had brought mobile cremation chambers with them as part of their assault on his nation. They would presumably be used to dispose of their dead on site to keep the actual number of troops killed a secret from the world.

“These guys are carrying those cremation chambers for themselves,” Zelensky noted at a press conference in Kyiv. During that same press conference, he called the inexperienced Russian troops “cannon fodder” and said of the onsite cremation process, “it’s inhumane.”