During the war in Ukraine, almost every third mercenary from the Wagner PMC was killed, one of the commanders of this formation said. The claimed losses exceed the official death toll for the entire Soviet war in Afghanistan.
The Russian PMC “Wagner” during the war of Russia against Ukraine lost almost 22 thousand people – almost every third mercenary. Such losses were incurred from the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 until the capture of Bakhmut in May 2023, one of the PMC commanders, a fighter with the call sign Marx, said in the Telegram channel “Unloading Wagner”, close to the PMC, on Wednesday evening, July 19 .
According to Marx, who allegedly commands the headquarters of mercenaries, 78,000 people passed through the Wagner during the war, of which 49,000 were prisoners from Russian colonies, and 40,000 people were injured.
The losses of PMC Wagner declared on the channel are 46 percent higher than the official number of Soviet military dead for the entire war in Afghanistan (15,051 people) and four times higher than the irretrievable losses of the Russian army in the First Chechen War, Radio Liberty points out. A city of 22,000 people would be larger than hundreds of different cities in Russia, such as Bologoye, Omutninsk, and Ryazhsk.
Russia’s highest reported losses
The losses disclosed by the PMC commander are the highest among those reported in Russia by official and semi-official sources. Moscow is silent about the dead. The last time the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation cited the total number of those killed in September 2022 was 5937 people.
At that time, such an assessment was criticized even in the Russian community supporting the war against Ukraine : it was argued that it was only about the military personnel of the Russian army, without taking into account other power structures and units participating in the war.
In July, the publications Meduza and Mediazona published a study according to which about 47,000 Russian soldiers died in the 15 months of the war in Ukraine. If this assessment is correct, and the message in the Wagner channel is correct, then almost every second Russian killed in Ukraine is a Wagner PMC mercenary.
Relocation to Belarus
The Wagner Group announced that it had ended its participation in the war. On July 19, a video was published on the Internet with the head of the PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin , in which he stated that “a shame is happening at the front in which we do not need to participate.”
According to Marx, up to 10,000 Wagnerites are being relocated to Belarus, and another 15,000 are on vacation. He did not specify how many mercenaries accepted the Russian Defense Ministry’s offer to sign contracts with him.
Source : DW NEWS