Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Almost Twice as Many North Caucasian Soldiers have Died in Ukraine than Russian Siloviki Died in North Caucasus over the Last 11 Years

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 24 – There are many ways to measure the impact of Russian combat losses in Ukraine ranging from gross numbers of killed and wounded to per capita impact in various federal subjects. But a new figure from the North Caucasus indicates just how hard that region has been hit by the war in Ukraine.

            According to the Kavkaz-Uzel news agency, “no fewer than 845” residents of the North Caucasus Federal District have died in the last year in fighting in Ukraine, almost twice as many as the 480 members of the Russian force structures who died fighting against North Caucasian resistance in the last 11 years (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/386211/).

            The news agency acknowledges that both of these figures are problematic and that the real numbers are almost certainly greater; but the information it does provide suggests that the mortality figures for the war in Ukraine are likely more understated than are those of the so-called “anti-terrorist” actions in the North Caucasus.

            The number of North Caucasians the Russian siloviki killed was certainly far larger than the number of losses these forces suffered, and consequently, the combination of those losses and the losses from combat in Ukraine mean that the impact of both wars combined on the populations of the North Caucasus nations is enormous.

            Not only is there the obvious psychological consequence of losing so many people, but there are the losses themselves: Putin’s war in Ukraine has killed off at least some of those who might have taken arms against the Russian colonial occupation of the North Caucasus in the past or in the future.

            And that in and of itself is certain to have an impact on the future of conflicts between Moscow and the non-Russians there in the first instance but elsewhere as well.

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