At least 47,000 Russian troops have been killed fighting in Ukraine, the independent news outlets Mediazona and Meduza reported in an investigation published Monday.
Citing data from Russia’s national probate registry — a public database that records information on inheritances — and the state statistics agency Rosstat, journalists used a surge in probate cases opened for men under the age of 50 since the start of the war to calculate the war deaths.
“To be absolutely precise, we can assert with a 95% probability that the true number of casualties falls between 40,000 and 55,000,” read the report published on Medizona’s website.
Journalists noted that Russia’s military death toll is likely higher because not all soldiers have property that can be passed on after their death.
A separate tally of confirmed Russian troop deaths compiled by Mediazona and the BBC’s Russian service lists 26,800 whose names have been made public by the authorities.
Moscow rarely comments on its war dead and the Russian Defense Ministry last updated its soldier death toll in September, placing the figure at under 6,000 killed.
But leaked Western intelligence documents, citing calculations by the Federal Security Service (FSB), put the actual number closer to 110,00 Russian soldiers wounded and killed by February this year.
Mediazona and Meduza estimated that 78,000 Russian soldiers may have been wounded or missing in action, bringing overall losses to 125,000.