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United States and European officials estimate as many as 120,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died or been injured in the war. We find no basis for a "1 million" estimate.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began 15 months ago, has led to numerous casualties on both sides. But social media posts are claiming Ukraine recently suffered a major blow to its military forces.
"1,000,000 Ukraine soldiers wiped out!" a May 25 Facebook video’s title and caption claimed. The video is a clip from an episode of the "Redacted" podcast in which host Clayton Morris and retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor discussed the Russia-Ukraine war.
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The Facebook video’s title and caption say Ukraine has lost a significant number of troops, but Morris and Macgregor do not say in the 15-minute video that 1 million soldiers have been "wiped out."
Macgregor said in the video that Ukraine has "lost thousands of people," but he didn’t say that millions of Ukrainian soldiers had died.
Ukraine and Russia have not been forthcoming with reliable figures on military losses from the war.
United States and European officials have estimated that as many as 120,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or injured since the invasion started in February 2022, The Washington Post reported in March.
Reuters reported in April that leaked documents allegedly from U.S. intelligence agencies estimated as many as 354,000 Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have died or been injured in the war. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the documents, and U.S. officials said some files appeared to be altered.
The Facebook video’s claim that 1 million Ukrainian soldiers have been "wiped out" is much higher than any official reported estimates. So we rate this claim False.
The Washington Post, "Ukraine short of skilled troops and munitions as losses, pessimism grow," March 13, 2023
Reuters, "Ukraine war, already with up to 354,000 casualties, likely to last past 2023 - U.S. documents," April 12, 2023
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