Around 11,500 have been killed in Putin’s war in Donbas



2014/12/18 • Infographics, Military analysis

Article by: Alya Shandra

Ukrainian military losses

It’s hard to tell the exact number of Ukrainian military casualties, as Ukraine has not revealed official data on those that were killed in the Donbas war to journalists and the public. There are numbers that are released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense on servicemen killed in action. However, not all those that are killed are accounted for in those reports, as they include only battalions that are subordinated to either the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the Ministry of Defense. The volunteer battalions that are fighting along the regular Ukrainian Army in Donbas have had a complicated history of becoming part of either the MIA or MoD, and it is unclear whether losses from early days are included in the statistics.  There are some volunteer battalions that are still not subordinated to either of those Ministries (the Right Sector and OUN battalions that are part of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps). They and other losses from border patrol guards, the Security Service of Ukraine, and unidentified losses have been taken into account in an article on Wikipedia that is kept updated by volunteers. Oleksandr Oksymets from Ukrainian website has calculated losses based on this independent Wikipedia bookkeeping.

According to him, 1521 military servicemen have died in the Donbas war from its start in March 2014. 411 of them have died during the ceasefire that was announced following the signing of a peace protocol in Minsk on September 5 between the separatist leaders and representatives of the Ukrainian government. The majority of those that died, 1136, were subordinated to the Ministry of Defense; the National Guard and battalions under the Ministry of Internal Affairs suffered 218 losses (click to enlarge).


However, it may very well be that the actual military losses are much higher. It is unclear to this day how many casualties were carried in the most tragic battle for Ukraine, the battle of Ilovaisk, during which surrounded Ukrainian troops came under enemy fire when retreating through a “green corridor.” The accounts vary significantly. Donbas battalion commander Semen Semenchenko claims over 1000 troops were killed in Ilovaisk; this number is supported by a temporary investigative committee. However, only 241 deaths have been officially recognized by the Prosecutor’s Office as of 11 December. Azov battalion commander Andriy Biletskyi is also convinced that at least 1000 lives were taken in the tragic battle, which is being investigated at present to find those guilty of such losses. Thus, if 1000 perished in Ilovaisk and not 241, the Ukrainian military losses could reach over 2000.

Ukrainian civilian losses

According to the December 15 UN report, at least 10,322 people have been wounded and 4,707 people have been killed in Donbas. This number includes casualties among the Ukrainian armed forces as reported by the Ukrainian authorities; the 298 people from flight MH-17; and casualties reported by civil medical establishments of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. The report notes that the actual number is likely to be higher, as both civilian and military casualties are underreported. A Lithuanian consul and Italian journalist have also been killed.

Russian military losses

As Russia continues to deny presence of its troops and weapons in Ukraine, there are no official statistics on Russian losses in the war. Occasionally, numbers of Russian losses sound from the briefings of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, but chances are high that those numbers are exaggerated. The estimates of a Yelena Vasilieva, a Russian human rights activist managing the FB community Cargo-200 (“Cargo-200” is military speak for KIA soldiers) may be more reasonable: she claims that Russia’s military losses in Donbas could reach 4360 servicemen, albeit she acknowledges that this number is very much approximate. Apart from that, militants from the local population have been killed, as well as 4 Russian journalists. The Wikipedia article had counted the total losses of separatist forces, including Russian Army forces, at 6000.

Total losses

4,707 people from the UN report + 750 unreported deaths at Ilovaisk + 6,000 separatist troops (out of which 4,360 are Russian servicemen) = 11,457 deaths. Quite a price to pay for the geopolitical ambitions of one mad man.

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  • Paul P. Valtos

    For what have people died. For a lunatic in Moscow with visions of grandeur and an egomaniac to boot. Is that the result of KGB indoctrination?. Crank out lunatics.

    • Pasha Pasha

      All that on top of an inferiority complex. That KGB lunatic is really short of height.

  • Milton Devonair

    need more russians…..need more russians… ruskis……

  • kay

    This is such bullshit. Either 1 this is all based on bias media which is not a reliable source or 2 you apart of the propaganda to support barack obamas war crimes. Have you even listened to what the people of donbass have said and not by american “reporters” because they all say the same thing ukrain is evil and russia is the only ones that help us wven wih food. Why would media want you to think this? To support obamas/a par of americas government sycotic dreams of killing innocent people, they are the ones funding ukraine. Dont put bad press on russia its just lazy journalism. All putin has done is apeak the truth on how america funds terrorist groups, j f assasination, gaddafi assaination, truth on 9/11… thats just an honest president that has done so well by his people helped thousands and thousands get jobs and get themselves out of poverty, what did obama do, oh yes sign to knock down many blocks, made thousands more unemployed and put hundreds of thousans into poverty. Putin doesnt say stop the genocide in donbass or ww3 will come or stop genocide in palestine or ww3 will come because hes the devil. If you think america and their alloys i.e israel and saudi the terrorist trio are fine in killing palestinians, syrians, iraqis, yemen, donbass, syria ect ect thats you and you should definetly keep that evilness to yourself instead of making out their only voice to be some hitler. Its unprofessional and inhumaine. These people are seeking democracy. I love america but seriously how can you not see your government is compromised? You people dont even know who this man is, his real name, where he came from, his real birth certificate, his real family…. nothing, its there in the open for you to read about but you all dont care, you dont care that you dont know who your damn president is. Fuck. You all believe what a small group of people have to say over your own eyes, its nuts, how can you allow your troops be sent to fight isis when barrack obama has opnly confessed to funding them, how can you allow your troops be sent to their death in iraq fully knowing that building 7 went down without a plane and so did the pentagon 87 cctvs show that, despite the tronendous amount of proof that it was a clear demolision you went ahead with it signed your own peoples lives away. Its disgusting. Then you watch the president say shit like we need veterans charity when he sent them there to fight the men he funds and after the terrorist attack he created. Stupidity. I dont want ww3 but its innevitable at this point unless americans wake the fuck up. Thought british politicians were sly and ceniving. Ffs.

    • Wolf Angel

      Thank you for a great laugh. The American government has sent 200 people to Western Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian government to help train military people. Russia has sent over ten thousand, with up to half returning as Cargo 200 according to some Ukraine and UN reports. The U.S. Majority dislikes the U.S. President. It has become so after they elected this tyrannical socialist to their president. Unlike some countries, the U.S. will wait to 2016 and replace him. In contrast, Putin arranged to circumvent Russian law and moved presidential powers to prime minister occupied that slot to the next rigged election and then became president again. And Russia has sent troops and tanks to the fighting in Donbass, with over 4000 Russian soldiers killed. Putin lied about Crimea initially, then said it was planned all along. Putin lies and says no Russians in Ukraine except maybe some vacationing. Good thing the soldiers were allowed their work vehicles on vacation! Oppose Barrak Obama and get your taxes audited. Oppose Putin and get killed beside Red Square.
      Putin is the voice saying, Finland increase your NATO participation, watch out we have nuclear weapons. Stop our interests in Crimea, watch out we have nuclear weapons and were prepared to use them. He is a mad man.
      And Russia is the country who is flying in commercial airspace with military jets with their transponders off, prompting three near collisions so far…

      • Quartermaster

        I suppose you could get a tan from bursting artillery shells, but the risk is quite high that there will be undesired side effects.
        It is quite true that the US has nothing in eastern Ukraine. Additionally, the fascists involved are mostly in the Kremlin.

  • Kianu

    What a piece of CRAP! Whoever is author, is an idiot! All done by USA!