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A destroyed Russian army multiple rocket launcher is seen on the outskirts of Kharkiv on March 16. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)

Up to 15,000 Russians soldiers have been killed in one month in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, two senior NATO military officials said. The officials made the estimate during a briefing with reporters on Wednesday. 

The officials specified the range could be as low as 7,000 or as high as 15,000 in total Russian soldiers killed in the conflict so far. Their estimate is based on what Ukraine is telling them, what they know from Russia “intentionally or by mistake” and from “open source” information, one of the officials said.

“The estimate we have is based on what the Ukrainians tell us, what the Russian let us know, intentionally or by mistakes, because mistakes happen in a war, and on intelligence we get on open sources, we think that the Russians have lost between 7,000, up to maximum 15,000 dead,” the official said Wednesday. 

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces estimates that 15,600 Russian soldiers have been killed in the conflict. 

Overall, they estimate that there could be between 30,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers either killed, wounded or missing altogether. 

“Statistically in conflicts when you have one killed soldier, you generally have three wounded soldier, so if you go four fold, it would be, I would say between 30,000 to 40,000 losses, losses killed in action, wounded in action, prisoner of war are missing, you don’t know what happened to the soldier,” the official said.

Other US officials have estimated a similar range of as low as 7,000 and as high as 14,000 Russian soldiers killed, but they have expressed “low confidence” in those estimates.

Neither NATO nor the United States have troops on the ground in Ukraine, making it incredibly difficult to get an accurate estimate on the number of Russian casualties. An accurate tally could take weeks or even months and may only be possible after the fighting has ceased. 

The Russian government has not put out a number of total soldiers killed in the conflict. The Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda published — then later removed — a report that the Russian Ministry of Defense had recorded 9,861 Russian Armed Forces deaths in the war in Ukraine.

The report from the tabloid originally read: “According to the Russian Defense Ministry, during the special operation in Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces lost 9861 people killed and 16153 wounded.”

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