Up to 350,000 Russian military personnel have been killed or wounded in Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war, British defence chiefs said on Monday.
They stressed that the huge casualty toll included tens of thousands of members of Putin’s “private army”, the Wagner Group, before its failed revolt against Moscow.
In its latest intelligence update, the Ministry of Defence in London said: “Between 24 February 2022 and November 2023, official Russian MoD forces likely suffered between 180,000 and 240,000 personnel wounded and approximately 50,000 killed.
“Wagner Group mercenaries likely suffered approximately 40,000 wounded and 20,000 killed.
“Therefore, overall, the Russian side has likely suffered around 220,000-280,000 wounded and approximately 70,000 killed. This gives an estimated range of between 290,000 and 350,000 total Russian combatant casualties.”
The briefing added: “The median of the estimate range is 320,000 total Russian combatant casualties.
“Even amongst Russian officials there is likely a low level of understanding about total casualty figures because of a long-established culture of dishonest reporting within the military.”
A number of high ranking officers have been killed in Putin's war launched in February 2022.
Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, deputy commander of Russia's 14th Army Corps, has been killed in Ukraine, a top regional officialsaid on Monday.
The governor of Russia's Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, said Zavadsky had died "at a combat post in the special operationzone", without giving further details.
"Special military operation" is the term that Russia uses to describe the war in Ukraine, now approaching the end of its second year.
The investigative news outlet iStories said Zavadsky was the seventh Major General whose death had been confirmed by Russia, and the 12senior officer overall to be reported dead since the start of the war.
Deaths of senior Russian officers, which military analysts have attributed in some cases to Ukrainian success in intercepting laxcommunications, have become rarer as the war has progressed.
Zavadsky was a much-decorated officer and a former tank commander, said Gusev, adding that his death was a heavy loss that caused"transfixing pain".
Russia launched 23 drones and a cruise missile overnight on Ukraine, Ukraine's air force said on Monday, adding that its air defence systems destroyed the missile and 18 of the drones before they reached their targets.
Anti-aircraft defence was deployed in at least nine regions of Ukraine, the air force said on the Telegram messaging app.
The air force did not provide details on what happened to the drones that were not destroyed or whether there was any damage in result of the attack.
Ukraine's forces attacked an oil depot in Russia-controlled Luhansk last night using combat drones, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing Russian-installed authorities in the Ukrainian region.
A fire that broke out after the attack has been extinguished and there was no information about casualties.