Mediazona Counts

While pursuing Mediazona counts of Russian war dead, I discovered that I am quoted in a number of recent articles. This includes:

25 Jan: What’s the truth about casualty numbers in Ukraine? – The Post (

1 Feb: Ukraine war: casualty counts from either side can be potent weapons and shouldn’t always be believed (

2 Feb: Ukraine war: Casualty counts from either side can be potent weapons and shouldn’t always be believed (

2 Feb: Ukraine: casualty count lies as a fog of war – Asia Times

I did exchange emails with James Billot on 23 Jan (see first article).

Getting back to Mediazona, their count as of 9 December was 10,002 Russian service members killed. See: BBC and Mediazona confirm 10,000 Russian soldiers dead in Ukraine — Meduza

To quote from that article: “BBC notes that, by the most conservative estimates, the real number of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine may exceed 20,000, and the total number of irretrievable losses could be as high as 90,000.” 

Not sure of the basis for the irretrievable loss estimate. Seems very high. More than most estimates of total wounded if there were 20,000 killed. 

Mediazona‘s count of Russian service members killed as of 3 February was 13,030. See: A quarter of the dead are yesterday’s civilians: what is known about Russia’s losses in Ukraine by February – BBC News Russian service

The article also states:

“Consequently, according to the most conservative estimate, during the invasion of Ukraine, Russia could lose more than 26 thousand people dead.”

“Russia’s total irretrievable losses (i.e., the number of those out of action due to injury, death or missing) could be at least 117,000.”

“This figure is based on the observations of the Center for Naval Analysis of the United States, according to which for every dead Russian soldier during the war in Ukraine, there are an average of about three and a half wounded.”

Not sure of the basis for the 3.5-to-1 wounded-to-killed ratio. 

Anyhow, 26K x 5 (as I favor a four-to-one wounded to killed ratio) = 130,000 casualties (killed and wounded).

This is assuming that actual Russian killed are twice what Mediazona is counting, which appears to be what they are assuming.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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