Russia’s officially reported casualty figures can be explained by a combination of three factors: US Javelin anti-tank missiles; Russia’s desire to wage a clean war; and President Putin’s envisioned historical vindication for the aforesaid.
The Russian Defense Ministry sought to put to rest the reckless US-encouraged speculation about the casualties that it suffered throughout the course of its ongoing special operation in Ukraine by revealing the official figures on Wednesday. Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that 498 servicemembers sacrificed their lives to denazify and demilitarize that country since 24 February while 1,597 have been injured. In contrast, he said that 2,780 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) and fascist-nationalist forces were killed along with 3,700 injuries. Russia’s officially reported casualty figures can be explained by a combination of three factors: US Javelin anti-tank missiles; Russia’s desire to wage a clean war; and President Putin’s envisioned historical vindication for the aforesaid.
Beginning with the first of these three, the large-scale presence of such high-quality state-of-the-art weapons of war was always going to have an effect on Russia’s casualty rates. Javelins are regarded as among the best munitions in their field. It was therefore expected that they’d ultimately kill a certain number of Russian servicemen. That’s not surprising, but it’s important to keep in mind that the number of reported casualties is far below such wild figures as those that have been propagated by the US-led Western Mainstream Media falsely claiming that thousands upon thousands have already been killed through such means. Those factually inaccurate figures were spread as part of the ongoing anti-Russian infowar designed to reduce Moscow’s military credibility while giving false hope to Kiev’s fighters.
The second factor is much more important though since it was self-imposed by the Russian leadership itself. President Putin explained in a lengthy article last summer why he believes in the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians. Considering the immediate humanitarian pretext for commencing his country’s special operation in that former Soviet Republic, it would have been hypocritical for him to wage anything other than a clean war. Nobody should doubt that Russia could have easily replicated the US’ “shock & awe” tactics of utterly destroying Ukraine just like the fading unipolar hegemon destroyed Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya, so it’s clear that Moscow is restraining itself for humanitarian reasons related to its leadership’s sincere belief in limiting civilian casualties and collateral damage.
The reason why Russia remained committed tot his aforesaid noble policy in spite of it resulting in the Russian Armed Forces (RAF) being placed in harm’s way such as when destroying those heavy weapons that the UAF and its fascist-nationalist allies recklessly deployed in residential areas is because President Putin envisions that his decision will be historically justified in hindsight. There’s no comparison between the RAF’s conduct during the ongoing special operation in Ukraine and the US’ “shock & awe” campaigns against Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya. The Russian leader could simply order the RAF to wantonly bomb all of its opponents wherever they may be in that country, thus destroying those with deadly Javelins and heavy weapons, but at the expense of unacceptably high civilian casualties and collateral damage.
These three factors place Russia’s officially reported casualties in Ukraine into their appropriate context. Those who wrongly interpret these figures as suggesting that the special operation is “failing” aren’t paying attention to its actual on-the-ground successes in making rapid gains across Ukraine in the past week. Two independent analyses, one from the Daily Mail and the other from the Vox Populi blog, confirm that Russia’s special operation there has actually thus far been more successful than Israel’s Six Day War and the US’ two invasions of Iraq. These observations, especially when considering the clean war that Russia is waging in Ukraine, strongly suggest that Russia’s casualty figures are impressively low. This conclusion in turn debunks the fake news narrative that Russia has “failed” in Ukraine.