U.S. Officials Estimate Russia’s Losses in Ukraine on Par With America’s Fallen in Iraq, Afghanistan Since 2001

by Joe Rutland

U.S. officials are estimating that Russia’s losses in Ukraine are on par with the United States’ losses in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. A U.S. official tells CBS News on Wednesday that the U.S. estimates between 5,000 and 6,000 Russian troops have been killed. The official adds that it is difficult to count war casualties at this time in Ukraine. According to The Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, they estimate 7,057 U.S. troops died from 2001 to 2019 during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The count excludes those killed in 2020 and 2021.

CNN reports that 7,075 U.S. soldiers were killed during the 20 years the U.S. was at war in both countries. Now, the number of Russian losses in Ukraine could possibly be as low as 3,500, according to the official. But the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency did estimate earlier this week that as many as 4,000 Russian troops had been killed, Military.com reported.

Russia Losses In Ukraine Are Reaching Serious Levels

Even with the lower estimates of Russia’s losses in Ukraine, the total would be higher than all the U.S. troop casualties in Afghanistan alone. The Pentagon estimates that to be 2,461 troops. Russia and Ukraine have different numbers on Russian dead soldiers. Moscow has said as low as 2,870 troops while Kyiv states more than 11,000. This comes from a report by The Hill.

U.S. intelligence officials are saying that the Ukrainian people have put up a much stronger resistance than expected. Russia has not been able to capture the capital city of Kyiv. But the Russians have gained ground in other parts of the country such as Irpen and Kherson. Ukraine has been able to gather support. At least 20 countries are sending them weapons; 20,000 foreign nationals are volunteering to join the military and fight the Russian invasion. 

Russia has been targeting schools and hospitals. The United Nations says more than 500 civilians have been killed. The U.N. has said their estimates of civilian casualties so far are most likely low. Still, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for a no-fly zone, and for Western countries to send fighter jets.

Companies Like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s Are Suspending Operations

Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have suspended operations in Russia following increased pressure and public scrutiny to do so. This comes after the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Both companies were notably not among the wave of companies that have opted to suspend their business in Russia.

Companies that have already done so include Visa, Mastercard and Netflix, and many more. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are suspending operations in Russia, but some feel it’s a bit late.