By Paul Goble
Boris Sokolov, a Russian scholar who has specialized in the study of Russian military losses in the past, says the figures Kyiv is providing about Russian losses are accurate but those losses, which now amount to 53,000 dead, will not be sufficient to force Russia to end the war.
Only if Ukraine gets more and better weapons from the West will it have the chance to increase Russian losses from about 200 to 300 a day to 1,000 a day as they were in the first weeks of the Russian invasion and thus force Moscow to consider pulling out or negotiating an end to the conflict on that basis (graniru.org/War/m.285295.html).
Sokolov, author of perhaps the most authoritative study of Russian war losses over the past century (Human Losses of Russia and the USSR in the Wars of the 20th and 21st Century (in Russian; Moscow, 2022), presents data showing that Kyiv has been telling the truth about Russian losses, despite some criticism in the West that it has not.
His most important conclusions, however, are these: “at the current level of losses, Russia will be able to fight in Ukraine for many years even without a general mobilization” and “Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield only if it has a better army and at least a parity in arms.”
Ukraine has achieved the former, but the achievement of the second “depends entirely on the United States and other NATO countries.”