Thursday, 18 April 2024 20:21

Russia's meat grinder soldiers - 50,000 confirmed dead

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Russia's military death toll in Ukraine has now passed the 50,000 mark, the BBC can confirm.

In the second 12 months on the front line - as Moscow pushed its so-called meat grinder strategy - we found the body count was nearly 25% higher than in the first year.

BBC Russian, independent media group Mediazona and volunteers have been counting deaths since February 2022.

New graves in cemeteries helped provide the names of many soldiers.

Our teams also combed through open-source information from official reports, newspapers and social media.

More than 27,300 Russian soldiers died in the second year of combat - according to our findings - a reflection of how territorial gains have come at a huge human cost.

Russia has responded to the BBC's report saying only the defence ministry in Moscow can give this kind of information.

The term meat grinder has been used to describe the way Moscow sends waves of soldiers forward relentlessly to try to wear down Ukrainian forces and expose their locations to Russian artillery.

The overall death toll - of more than 50,000 - is eight times higher than the only official public acknowledgement of fatality numbers ever given by Moscow in September 2022.

The actual number of Russian deaths is likely to be much higher.

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