The number of Russian troops killed since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has passed 280,000, according to a Thursday announcement from the Ukrainian armed forces.
The updated tally comes as a Kyiv military spokesperson told local media that Russia has recently been intensifying its attacks on the front line in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk.
The death toll for Russian soldiers was reported by the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, which said Moscow has lost 280,470 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, which Russian President Vladimir Putin launched on February 24, 2022.
Newsweek has not been able to independently verify Ukraine’s tally, and other estimates tend to be more conservative than Kyiv’s. The Kremlin does not frequently comment on its own estimates of troop casualties, and when it does, experts have said its numbers are not accurate.
Based on Ukraine’s data, Russia’s personnel losses reached 280,470 troops—which includes 3,150 lost in the past week—as Putin’s forces have reportedly increased the ferocity of their attacks after suffering multiple battlefield setbacks against Kyiv’s ongoing counteroffensive.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email for comment.
Illia Yevlash, a spokesperson for Kyiv’s Eastern Grouping of Forces, appeared Thursday on a daily news program on Ukraine’s 1+1 TV channel, where he discussed the increase of Russian strikes around the cities of Lyman in the Donetsk region and Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region.
Lyman and Kupiansk had already been the sites of heavy Russian offensives since the summer. Yevlash reported in late August that Putin’s forces had dedicated more than 100,000 troops and thousands of pieces of equipment in the Lyman-Kupiansk direction, according to news outlet Ukrainska Pravda.
Yevlash said on Thursday that in addition to increased attacks on the front line in the Lyman-Kupiansk area, Russia’s military had seemingly turned its focus to Makiivka, according to an English translation by The Kyiv Independent, an online newspaper. A village in Luhansk region, Makiivka is located approximately 19 miles north of Lyman and 37 miles south of Kupiansk.
The spokesperson said eight skirmishes took place in this area of eastern Ukraine in the past day alone. Yevlash further noted that Russia has been hitting the region not only with ground troops but also with its air forces, using jet fighters and helicopters in attacks, according to The Kyiv Independent’s translation.