Staunton, Feb. 20 – As the first anniversary of Putin’s announcement of his expanded invasion of Ukraine approaches, Russian, Ukrainian and Western experts say, deaths among Russians aged between 18 and 35 have risen 23 percent and deaths in this cohort in the North Caucasus republics have almost doubled, vastly greater increases than during the pandemic.
Such human losses will cast a dark shadow on the future of the Russian Federation; and they are only one of the many disturbing statistics showing just how much this war has cost the peoples of the Russian Federation and Ukraine now being reported as this tragic anniversary approaches.
Among the many other disturbing figures that the Important Stories portal has assembled (istories.media/stories/2023/02/20/god-voini-itogi/) are the following:
· Putin claimed that he went to war to “save the people” of the Donbass, but figures show more of that region’s people have died in the last 11 months than died during the previous eight years.
· The Kremlin leader says he has ordered that only military targets be hit in Ukraine, but his forces have damaged or destroyed almost 150,000 homes, more than 3,000 school buildings and more than 1,000 medical institutions.
· Russian forces have also hit almost 600 heating plants, but Ukraine has been able to restore half of them already.
· The Russian army has suffered almost 200,000 casualties – killed and wounded – especially among newly mobilized troops sent into battle without adequate training.
· The Russian army has lost a third or more of its armored vehicles.
· Despite a disproportion in the number of f troops, Ukrainian forces have been able to recapture half of the land Russia occupied in the first weeks of the war.
· The only country in the world to recognize the Moscow-organized referenda in the annexed areas of Ukraine is North Korea.
· The Western alliance did not collapse but has come together to support Ukraine with military assistance and ever tougher sanctions on Russia. Moreover, two more countries, Sweden and Finland, are on their way to becoming members of NATO.
· Up to a quarter of Russia’s state budget is now going for the war in Ukraine, more than 82 billion US dollars.
· Ukrainian shelling of targets inside Russia has cost no fewer than 39 lives.
· There is growing evidence that ordinary Russians want the war to end and that members of the elite are divided about the conflict, although most see no way to force Putin to change course.
· And more than 20,000 Russian Federation citizens have been detained for anti-war actions.
The portal gives sources for all these figures as well as providing a discussion of which numbers are problematic and which are certainly underestimates of just how much Putin’s war in Ukraine has cost.