‘Enormous’ casualty count is one-third of total Russia lost occupying Afghanistan for a decade: reporter
Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin wearing a Sitka Gear camouflage. Sitka jackets are manufactured in Bozeman, Montana. Photo via the Kremlin.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine looks even worse when reports of its fatalities are compared to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that is widely seen as hastening the collapse of the USSR.

Reporter Katty Kay explained the numbers on MSNBC on Thursday during an interview with "The Beat" host Ari Melber.

"I was just reading up, looking back at the history of the Afghan war, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. 15,000 Soviet soldiers, Russian soldiers died in Afghanistan, Ari, during the course of ten years. U.S. estimates now think that about 5,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine, in two weeks, and the amount of losses is enormous for the Russians," she noted.

If anything, Kay may have overstated Soviet losses in Afghanistan.

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On May 26, 1988, The New York Timesreported on the USSR's fatality numbers.

"The Soviet Union, ending a long silence about the exact number of its casualties in the war in Afghanistan, said today that 13,310 soldiers had been killed, 35,478 wounded and 311 are missing," The Times noted. "The number of troops killed was slightly higher than the United States had estimated. Washington had put the number of Soviet casualties in the eight and a half years of war at 33,000 to 38,000, a third of them fatalities."


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