FACT CHECK: Have 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Died In The Russian-Ukrainian War?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Verdict: Misleading

Ukraine has suffered between 100,000 and 120,000 casualties (including killed and wounded), according to various estimates. Politico later issued a correction.

Fact Check:

Since Russia’s invasion started last February, both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the war, especially in Bakhmut, according to Al Jazeera. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have pledged to shape “a new world order” during a recent meeting, NBC News reported.

Social media users have been sharing claims that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the war. (RELATED: Does This Video Show NATO Helicopters Being Show Down In Ukraine?)

This claim, however, is misleading. While Check Your Fact could not confirm how many Ukrainian troops have died in the war, various estimates put the number of casualties between 100,000 and 120,000.

The Washington Post reported Mar. 13 that European and U.S. officials believe 120,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed or wounded in the conflict. The New York Times reported Mar. 15 around 100,000 Ukrainian casualties, compared to 200,000 Russian casualties. The Telegraph reported 120,000 casualties in February 2023.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in December 2022 that between 10,000 and 13,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in the war, according to BBC News. U.S. General Mark Milley, the chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in November 2022 that Ukraine has “probably” suffered around 100,000 casualties, Business Insider reported.

A U.S. official told Check Your Fact that Ukrainian casualties remain within Milley’s estimates from November. Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, denied that 100,000 Ukrainian troops had died in a March 20 interview with Interfax UA.

The claim is based off a Politico story written by Lara Seligman, a Pentagon reporter. Seligman confirmed to Check Your Fact in a March 17 email that the number was inaccurate.

“Yes due to an editing error this needs to be corrected – it should be 100,000 killed and wounded,” Seligman said. Politico later issued a correction, writing, “CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misrepresented the number of Ukrainians killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year.”

European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen said in November 2022 that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died, though a spokesperson clarified on Twitter that she was referring to dead and wounded, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Check Your Fact has reached out to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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