Mediazona and BBC Russia Verify Wagner Casualty Assessments Made by Prigozhin

Independent Russian media outlet Mediazona and BBC Russia have obtained Wagner Group documents that seemingly verify statements made by Yevgeny Prigozhin before his death about PMC manpower and casualty figures in Ukraine.

Mediazona and BBC Russia Numbers:

  • 48,366 prisoners recruited into Wagner Group
  • 20,000 Wagner fighters killed between the start of the invasion and August 2023
    • Based on posthumous payments made to relatives of the fighters
  • Over 19,500 Wagner fighters killed during the Battle of Bakhmut
    • 17,251 of those killed identified as prisoners

Prigozhin’s Numbers:

  • 78,000 Wagner fighters “passed through the Ukraine business trip”
    • 49,000 of those fighters were prisoners
  • 22,000 Wagner fighters were killed and 40,000 were wounded by the capture of Bakhmut (May 20, 2023)
    • “About 20 percent [of prisoner fighters] died [in the Battle of Bakhmut],” which is roughly 10,000

Mediazona and BBC Russia’s analysis of the data only pertained to that of prisoners recruited by Wagner Group. Their assessment closely matches that of statements made by Prigozhin in June 2023, with the only discrepancy being the number of prisoner fighters killed.

The United States estimated that Russian forces suffered over 100,000 casualties in total during operations to take Bakhmut.