“A Our analysis does not include militia deaths in Russian-occupied Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine. If they were added, the death toll on the Russian side would be even higher,” the BBC said.

The data results from a count of deaths that has been carried out since February 2022 by BBC Russia, the independent media group Mediazona and volunteers.

The teams obtained names of many soldiers in new graves in the cemeteries, open source information from official reports, newspapers and social media.

“According to our results, more than 27,300 Russian soldiers died in the second year of fighting, reflecting the fact that territorial gains came at a huge human cost,” the BBC said.

Russia declined to comment on the results of the investigation.

Ukraine rarely comments on the scale of its battlefield deaths.

In February, President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed, but estimates, based on US intelligence, suggest greater losses.

Volunteers working with the BBC and Mediazona have been counting new military graves in 70 cemeteries across Russia since the start of the war.

Aerial images show that cemeteries have expanded significantly, such as Bogorodskoye in Ryazan, southeast of Moscow, which has a new section.

Photographs and videos taken on the ground suggest that the majority of these new graves belong to soldiers and officers killed in Ukraine, the British station said.

Analyst Samuel Cranny-Evans, from the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), said that many experienced professional soldiers who fought at the beginning of the invasion were killed and replaced by people with little military training, such as volunteers, civilians and prisoners.

According to the BBC, at least two in every five Russian fighters killed are people who had nothing to do with the country’s armed forces before the invasion.

The recruitment of prisoners in exchange for pardoning sentences was used by the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, from June 2022 to replace mercenaries killed in combat in Ukraine.

Prigozhin died in a plane crash in August 2023, about two months after he led a revolt against Russian military leadership, but the Ministry of Defense continued its policy of recruiting prisoners.

The BBC said it had analyzed the names of 9,000 Russian prisoners who died on the front line, confirming military contract start and death dates for more than 1,000 of them.

“We discovered that, under Wagner, these former prisoners had survived, on average, three months. (…) Those recruited later by the Ministry of Defense only lived, on average, two months,” he said.

The difference is attributed to the training intensity of the prisoners, who are part of platoons that are launched directly against the Ukrainian defenses.

Relatives of prison recruits who died and soldiers still alive told the BBC that the military training offered by the Ministry of Defense is insufficient.

A widow said that her husband signed the contract with the ministry in prison on April 8, 2023, and three days later he was fighting on the front line.

After waiting for news of her husband, she discovered that he had been killed on April 21.

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2542671/bbc-confirma-mais-de-50000-baixas-russas-mas-admite-numero-superior

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