The battle on the Ukrainian Eastern Front continues. According to Ukrainian sources, although the Russian army is making progress, Russian soldiers are dying in droves. The numbers are not independently verifiable, but according to Ukrainian figures, Russian casualties are around 1,000 a day.
According to Ukrainian sources, Russian troops are suffering significant losses in the battle for the strategically important city of Sievjerodonetsk. "The Russians have significantly more casualties than the Ukrainians," said Luhansk governor Serhiy Hajdaj on Facebook. The ratio is "one to ten". However, he could not provide any information on Ukrainian losses. The Russian army has withdrawn the remnants of units from the republic of Buryatia in Russia's Far East, Hajdaj said. "They die like flies."
The Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov, on the other hand, spoke of a difficult situation at the front. "Every day up to 100 of our soldiers are killed and up to 500 wounded," Reznikov wrote on Facebook. Russia suffers great losses. "But there are still forces advancing in some parts of the front," he said. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak even spoke of 100 to 200 deaths a day. According to Ukrainian information, the Russian army has already taken 90 percent of the urban area of Sievjerodonetsk, Ukrainian units still hold an industrial area on the outskirts of the city.
Information about the war - from both the Ukrainian and Russian sides - is difficult to independently verify. Specific numbers of casualties on either side vary depending on who is posting the death toll. Both parties have an interest in keeping the official number of dead soldiers as low as possible.
Only a few figures have been released from independent sources so far. In the first three months of its "special military operation," as the war in the giant country is officially called, Russia suffered a similar number of casualties as the Soviet Union during its nine-year war in Afghanistan, the British Defense Ministry said at the end of May. According to calculations by the US newspaper "Forbes", this would mean at least 15,000 Russian soldiers lost.
In mid-May, the British Ministry of Defense reported losses of around a third of the ground troops on the Russian side. However, the Ministry of Defense did not publish exactly how many soldiers and tanks this is. As the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reports, it is estimated that Russia has assembled between 150,000 and 200,000 soldiers for the invasion.
The Ukrainian newspaper "Kyiv Post" publishes daily tables and statistics on fallen soldiers, killed civilians and destroyed tanks. On Friday, the newspaper spoke of 31,900 fallen Russian soldiers.
The number of fallen Russian soldiers therefore varies between 15,000 and 31,900 - depending on the source. If the Luhansk governor's statement is accepted that Russian losses are in proportion to Ukraine's "one to ten", this would mean another number of Russian deaths.
A week ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of up to 100 dead Ukrainian soldiers a day. In an interview with Newsmax in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Zelenskyy said the situation in the country was "difficult". "We lose 60 to 100 soldiers killed and about 500 wounded every day," he said.
This number is in line with the figures of the Ukrainian defense minister and the presidential adviser, both of whom speak of 100 to 200 dead Ukrainian soldiers per day. Conversely, this would mean that around 1,000 Russian soldiers die on the eastern front in Ukraine every day. But like much in this war, these numbers are not independently verifiable.