According to the British Ministry of Defense, there have been up to 200,000 Russian casualties since February 2022, and “a large proportion” of those deaths may be attributed to factors other than warfare.
The ministry has connected the high number of Russian deaths in Ukraine to “pervasive alcohol addiction” among Moscow’s deployed forces.
The government department said, “The number of events, crimes, and fatalities due to alcohol drinking among Moscow’s military is exceptionally high,” citing a Russian social media channel.
Russian troops in Ukraine have been accused of drinking and driving before. The Russian military leadership undoubtedly views widespread alcohol usage as “especially harmful” to the effectiveness of the Russian armed forces, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
Hypothermia and car accidents are two examples of how drinking has led to deaths. Passing out in a car in extreme weather can be fatal.
The Ministry of Defense acknowledged on Twitter that excessive drinking is “tacitly tolerated” as part of military culture, including during combat missions.
Since the autumn of 2022, when Moscow announced the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists, Russia has not released up-to-date information on its casualty count. On September 21, the Kremlin’s first report since March 2022, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that 5,937 Russian servicemen had been killed since February. On March 25, 2022, Moscow reported that 1,351 soldiers had been killed in the conflict’s first weeks.
Kyiv reported 560 deaths among Russian troops on Sunday. According to a new tally by the Ukrainian armed forces General Staff, 174,550 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine since the outbreak of full-scale conflict on February 24, 2022. On the other hand, Ukrainian estimations are often more significant than their Western counterparts.
On Thursday, the British defense ministry said that Russia is conducting a “massive military recruiting effort” to enlist an additional 400,000 soldiers for the conflict in Ukraine.