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Over 465,000 Russian personnel killed or wounded since 2022 – a terrible human loss for Russians: UK statement to the OSCE

Thank you Mr Chair. Two weeks ago, President Putin appointed a new Defence Minister – Andrei Belousov. Upon taking up the job, Minister Belousov placed special emphasis on prosecuting the war with “minimal human losses”.

Given Minister Belousov’s background as an economist, let me speak about numbers:

a. 825. Today is 825 days since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

b. 465,000. Over 465,000 Russian personnel have been killed or wounded in that time.

c. 980. From January 2024 to April 2024, Russia’s daily casualty rate in Ukraine – the numbers of killed and wounded – was 980. Estimates in May, put that number over 1000 per day. That is around 30,000 per month. The highest rate it has been since the start of this war.

d. 40%. Defence now takes up 40% of Russia’s government spending – which amounts to 6% of its GDP.

e. 70,000. Ukraine has liberated 70,000 square miles of land that Russia seized in 2022. And Ukraine has destroyed or damaged a quarter of the Black Sea Fleet’s vessels, denying Russia control of the western Black Sea and pushing back much of the Russian navy from Crimea. As a result, Ukraine has successfully resumed maritime exports from its Black Sea ports. Monthly export volumes through its maritime corridor are consistently at the highest levels – four and a half million tonnes – since the war began. It is on course to export all its harvest this year despite repeated Russian attempts to prevent it.

To summarise. President Putin is now over two years into a war he thought would take 3 days. He is no closer to his goal of subjugating Ukraine. Instead, Russia has suffered nearly half a million casualties, and lost a great proportion of its land and sea forces. Economists do not need to be reminded about sunk cost fallacy. Seen objectively, the numbers point to a terrible loss for a country like Russia – in Russian lives, materiel and credibility.

There is a simple way to minimise human losses. Russia chose to start this war. Russia can choose to end it. Ukraine has the right to defend itself. We will continue to stand resolutely with Ukraine. Russia should respect the UN Charter, end its war, and withdraw all of its forces from all of Ukraine.

Thank you.

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