In the first four days of Russia’s full-on invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian side has claimed to have killed thousands of Russian troops and captured more than 200 of Russia’s soldiers since the start of fighting on Feb. 24.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet released information on the number of Russian soldiers killed, wounded, or captured since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. However, the Ukrainian government has begun posting pictures of captured Russians and has asked their families to identify them.
In a translated Facebook post on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said more than 200 Russian soldiers have been captured. On the first day of fighting, the Ukrainian military announced an entire reconnaissance unit of Russia’s 74th Motor Rifle Brigade had surrendered.
Various other Russian troops have been photographed or filmed by Ukrainian captors, including a Russian tank battalion commander on Sunday.
On Sunday the Ukrainian Interior Ministry had released a video that announced a website where Russian citizens can search for their family members among those captured and killed and appealed to the Russian population to search the site.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said the Russian captives are being treated humanely and being given medical care, as needed, but said the Russian government wasn’t responding to their offers to verify prisoners and Russian soldiers killed and said Russia’s attacks had taken down phone services and rendered those Russian captives unable to contact their family members directly. The video directs viewers to the Russian-language site where they can try to identify those captured or killed.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said family members of Russians can submit their DNA information for verification purposes and can contact the ministry to get in contact with captives or request for the Red Cross to return their family member’s remains.
Despite Ukraine’s efforts to reach out directly to Russian families, Russia’s state media and communications regulation agency, Roskomnadzor, has censored many Ukrainian websites, including the prisoner’s website, according to Human Rights Watch.
In addition to the more than 200 Russian soldiers that the Ukrainian side said they have captured as of Saturday, the Ukrainian military said on Sunday it had killed 4,300 Russians since the invasion began.
The Ukrainian military said the Russian side has also lost 27 airplanes, 26 helicopters, 146 tanks, 706 other armored vehicles and 49 cannons.
Exact combat losses cannot yet be independently confirmed, however.