Russia has “likely suffered a similar death toll” in the first three months of its invasion of Ukraine to that of the Soviet Union during its nine years of war in Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence said Monday.
“A combination of poor low-level tactics, limited air cover, a lack of flexibility, and a command approach which is prepared to reinforce failure and repeated mistakes has led to this high casualty rate, which continues to rise in the Donbas offensive,” the ministry said in an intelligence update.
Tuesday marks three months since Russia launched its assault on Ukraine on Feb. 24. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ran from December 1979 to February 1989.
Some context: The official Soviet death toll during the Afghan War was around 15,000 soldiers. In March, senior NATO officials estimated that as many as 15,000 Russian soldiers may have been killed in Ukraine in just one month alone.