Russia has lost nearly 10,000 soldiers in the Ukraine war, the website of a pro-Kremlin tabloid claimed in a report. The figure was quickly removed by the publication in a damage control move, but not before its screenshots started circulating on the internet.
The pro-government website, Komsomolskaya Pravda, published a story on Sunday which quoted officials from the Russian Defence Ministry disputing the casualty numbers reported by Ukrainian counterparts.
While Ukrainian officials claimed more than 15,000 Russian soldiers have lost their lives in the war, the Russian side said that 9,861 soldiers had died in Ukraine, with 16,153 injured, according to the tabloid.
According to The Daily Mail, it was believed to be the work of a pro-Ukrainian employee. Russia officially acknowledged 498 deaths on March 2.
The article, though removed by the publication, has been archived and that version talks about the casualty figures revealed by Russian military officials.
A newer version of the article on Pravda does not carry any figure. It carries a positive account of Russia’s progress stating that “two tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, six field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as about 60 militants of a Ukrainian nationalist formation were destroyed.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will soon reach the one-month mark and till now, Moscow has not been able to capture Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. The assault, however, has been heavy with tanks and missiles destroying many Ukrainian cities.
So far, Russia has not confirmed official casualties after March 2. Last week, The New York Times said 7,000 Russian troops have been killed, more than US soldiers in 20 years in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The CNN too reported on Russian casualties, saying the numbers are between 3,000 and 10,000.
In the 1979 invasion, about 15,000 Soviet troops were killed in Afghanistan, but in a 10-year period.