The Kremlin refuses to confirm whether nearly 10,000 Russian soldiers were killed in Ukraine.
The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday refused to confirm the number of Russian soldiers killed during the war in Ukraine, when asked in his regular conference call with CNN journalists.
“In terms of statistics, we agreed from the beginning that we would not release the information. We do not have the authority to make it public during military operations. This is a special feature of the Ministry of Defense,” Peskov told CNN.
When asked about the 9,861 deaths of Russian troops in the Ukraine war – a figure published by the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, but later withdrawn – Peskov said he could not comment further and sent the question to the newspaper.
A Kremlin reporter from Komsomolskaya Pravda, who was at the teleconference, joined the conversation, claiming that the newspaper’s website had been hacked and that “there was misinformation for a few minutes.”
On March 2, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that there were 498 military deaths in Ukraine. It has not released any updates since then.
The report, which was removed by Tabloid, is in line with US Department of Defense estimates that put the number of Russian military deaths at 10,000.
The Tabloid report first stated: “According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, during the special operation in Ukraine, the Russian armed forces suffered 9,861 deaths and 16,153 injuries.”
Analyzed the HTML code of the CNN webpage, which indicates that the article was published on Monday at 12:09 Moscow time.
Within seconds of reading CNN’s original article – at 9:56 pm Moscow time, according to HTML – the story was updated and all references to the death toll were removed. The update came shortly after the article began to gain attention from social media posts citing the death toll.
Following the update, Komsomolskaya Pravda later released a statement saying, “Access to the admin interface has been hacked” and “incorrect insertion into a post”.
“The misinformation was immediately withdrawn,” they said.
CNN analysis shows that the update came after 21 hours.