Head of Russian private army Wagner says more than 20,000 of his troops died in Bakhmut battle

Photo: AP (Fair Use)

The leader of the Russian private military company Wagner has once again deviated from the official Kremlin stance on Ukraine, acknowledging that their goal of demilitarizing the country has had unintended consequences.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, in his statement, admitted that Russian troops have caused civilian casualties and supported Western estimates that put the losses on their side at over 20,000 in the battle for Bakhmut, the Associated Press reported.

Prigozhin further disclosed that around half of the casualties in the eastern Ukrainian city were Russian convicts who had been recruited for the war, offering contrasting figures to Moscow’s widely contested claim of just over 6,000 Russian troop fatalities as of January.

To provide context, the official Soviet troop losses during the 1979-1989 Afghanistan war amounted to 15,000.

As for Ukraine, the country has not released official figures regarding the number of its soldiers who have lost their lives since Russia’s full-scale invasion commenced in February 2022.

Written by staff