The war in Ukraine was supposed to be an easy win for Russian President Putin. That narrative is clearly dead and buried: US officials said that more than 75,000 Russians have been killed or injured as part of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to multiple reports.
The figure would represent around half the total number of troops Russia sent to Ukraine at the start of its invasion. It is significantly higher than estimates US officials have given in public.
CNN reporter Michael Cohen tweeted on Wednesday that Rep. Elissa Slotkin told CNN she and other House lawmakers had been given the 75,000 figure that day by US officials.
The New York Times, citing a lawmaker, reported the figure was given in a joint briefing by the State Department, Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Estimates for Russian troop losses have varied, and Russia itself has given no official figures for months.
CIA Director William Burns estimated last week that around 15,000 Russians had been killed and around 45,000 wounded, giving a total o 60,000 casualties.
US officials told The Times earlier this month that around 20,000 Russians had been killed, and around 60,000 so injured significantly enough to stop them fighting.
The total number of Russian troops that have gone to Ukraine is also unclear.
Russia originally sent around 150,000 soldiers into Ukraine, the Times reported in April, but it has since sent reinforcements.
Sinéad Baker is a News Reporter based in Business Insider’s (where this first appeared) London bureau.