There is No Evidence That Ukraine Is Losing 30,000 Troops per Month in the War with Russia

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Ukraine’s former Public Prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, is spreading unconfirmed data regarding the number of killed and wounded Ukrainian troops. In fact, in his own statement he calls upon authorities in Ukraine to publish the accurate data of wounded soldiers, thereby tacitly admitting that his statement was not based on official data. Ukraine has not been disclosing the numbers of killed and wounded troops since the start of the Russian invasion. All published figures on the number of killed and wounded members of the Ukrainian Army to this date are either projections or conjectures


We are fact-checking a post on the social media Facebook (screenshot here) stating the following:

The truth has started to leak, even from Ukrainians.
Ukraine is losing 30,000 people per month, killed and severely wounded in the war.
This was stated by the former Public Prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, on Pryamoy TV channel.
According to him, the authorities should publish the actual casualty figures of the Ukrainian Army and show the severity of the situation, thereby motivating people to serve in the Ukrainian Armed Forces instead of avoiding conscription at all costs.

An article dated 7 January 2024 (from is being shared along with the post, which states that Lutsenko claimed that 30,000 Ukrainians were dying or severely wounded every month in the war with Russia.

Neither the Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian President, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, nor any other official Ukrainian institution has confirmed the number of casualties or wounded soldiers in the war in Ukraine. All statements on the matter are speculation or at the very best an estimate, since Ukraine does not officially disclose the actual precise figures.

In that respect, on 10 January 2024, Reuters published an article about the families of killed Ukrainian soldiers who are seeking acknowledgment from the military by awarding their deceased relatives with the title “Hero of Ukraine”. Among other things, it specifies:

The Ukrainian government does not disclose its casualty figures, but Western intelligence services have estimated tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have been killed.

In an article published at the end of August, 4 and a half months ago, the French newspaper Le Monde also writes that Ukraine does not disclose the numbers of its victims and wounded.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of soldiers killed or wounded has been one of its best-kept secrets. As in all conflicts, it is standard practice to overestimate enemy losses and underestimate one’s own. This war is no exception, and handing over this sensitive information to the enemy and demoralizing the population is out of the question. On the Ukrainian side, the defense ministry happily provides daily briefings on the number of Russians neutralized but remains silent on its own losses. As of August 22, the number of Russian soldiers “liquidated” since the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022 was 258,340, without specifying whether this included those wounded, stated French Le Monde, on 24 August 2023.

Since there is no relevant data on the number of victims and wounded on the Ukrainian side, media outlets make their own calculations that drastically differ. For example, on 18 August 2023, the New York Times quoted an anonymous source that claimed that the total number of killed and wounded soldiers on both sides, Russian and Ukrainian, was 500,000. The article also specifies that Ukraine does not disclose official figures on the number of casualties and wounded soldiers. The New York Times had previously estimated the number of victims on both sides in an article published on 10 November 2022, but again, those numbers were also not confirmed by Ukraine.

On 29 August 2023, АBC Australia published an article that clarified that Ukraine did not release official figures on how many of its troops were killed on the battlefield.

In his statement quoted as part of the post being fact-checked in this article, former Ukrainian Public Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko points out that “Ukrainian authorities should disclose the actual numbers of losses of the Ukrainian Army, so as to reveal to the people the severity of the situation” and that “he believed that the authorities should disclose the number of killed Ukrainians”. He thereby confirms that the Ukrainian authorities have not disclosed the number of killed and wounded Ukrainians. In fact, he himself states that a figure of half a million total casualties or 30,000 wounded and killed troops per month was “being talked about.”

Yuriy Lutsenko was the Minister of Internal Affairs in the cabinets of both Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yanukovych. He was the former leader of Petro Poroshenko’s bloc and former leader of his fraction in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament).

In 2010, Lutsenko was accused of abuse of office and forgery by Ukraine’s General Prosecutor, Viktor Pshonka, in what was perceived as an act of political retaliation as Lutsenko had investigated one of Yanukovych’s cabinet members four years prior.

In 2012, he was sentenced to four years in prison but was pardoned by Yanukovych in 2013. In 2016, he became General Prosecutor of Ukraine during Petro Poroshenko’s presidency and was criticized for undermining the newly established National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine during his term. Lutsenko was removed from office by Volodymyr Zelenskyy in 2019.

In any case, Lutsenko’s claim that Ukraine is losing 30 thousand troops per month, either killed or wounded, has not been officially confirmed. In fact, Ukraine does not disclose the number of killed and wounded troops, as is usual wartime practice. Hence, we conclude that Lutsenko’s claim that Ukraine is losing 30 thousand people per month, either killed or wounded, is not substantiated. Additionally, he himself has called upon Ukrainian authorities to disclose the precise casualty figures, thereby confirming that he does not have the numbers and was not making statements based on official data.