Compared to the first weeks of the war, not only has the front changed, but another thing has changed fundamentally: the information available about the losses of the two armies.
While hundreds of photos and videos of destroyed Russian tanks and other equipment flooded social networks every day during the attack on Kyiv, such recordings are rarely seen. The dramatic losses suffered by Putin’s troops in late February and March could be tracked almost in real time (the blogger Oryx, for example, bases its war record on social media posts).
Photos and videos of Ukrainian troops mainly showed their successes. Official statements about casualties in combat were the absolute exception. Ukraine wanted to appear strong and they succeeded.
In recent weeks, specifically with the Russian offensive in Donbass, this has been reversed. Hardly anything is known about Russian losses. An exception are the reports, which are mainly spread by the Ukrainian armed forces and Western military.
According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russia could have lost around 50,000 soldiers so far if you add up the dead and wounded; the US Army estimates that Moscow has lost up to 30 percent of its total armored force. However, it is unclear what exactly this means. There are no credible reports from Russia itself.
The situation is different when it comes to Ukrainian losses. Ukrainian officials have been surprisingly open about them in recent weeks. President Selenskyj complained of up to 100 deaths and 500 injuries every day. Shortly thereafter, his adviser spoke of 200 deaths every day. A senior Ukrainian military officer recently said that Ukraine lost around half of its heavy weapons in combat, including around 400 tanks and 700 artillery systems.
Like all information in this war, these figures should be viewed with a certain degree of skepticism. And some experts do too. War researcher Phillips O’Brien speculated a few days ago that Ukraine is being so open about its losses because it wants to get more support from the West. He also estimates that the Ukrainian numbers may be overstated. But even if they are only approximately correct, they show the dramatic extent of this war.