The average life expectancy of mobilized Russians at the frontline in Ukraine was 4.5 months, Important Stories and Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) volunteers have calculated based on obituaries in regional media.
The first deaths came as early as early October 2022 – just two weeks after Vladimir Putin announced mobilization. Untrained conscripts were thrown into the Kherson area, where the Ukrainian counteroffensive was actively underway.
As a result, at least 130 people died in the first month of sending Russians to the front (6.8% of all known deaths of mobilized men).
After that, the situation did not improve: every fifth of the dead did not live in the war for even two months (19.7%), and more than half (58.6%) of the dead parted with their lives in the first four or five months.
At the same time, the number of deaths among the mobilized fell sharply by the 11th month at the front, which may be related to the delay in reporting deaths.
The life expectancy of those mobilized at the front was affected by the intensity of fighting, CIT analysts said. “The most intense in terms of casualties are fall 2022 and spring 2023, and they contribute a significant weight to the average life expectancy of mobilized at the front”, military experts said.
According to them, in the fall the mobilized were caught in a “meat grinder” near Svatove and Kreminna, where the Russian army needed to urgently close the breakthrough of the AFU. “Hole” in the defense was filled with mobilized to prevent the collapse of the front. “The record from the summons to the grave is only a few days”, analysts explain the transience of life on the front.
At the same time, more than half of the dead mobilized were between 30 and 45 years old (59.9%). The share of those who died over 50 years old is only 1.1%, and from 20 to 30 years old – 30.8%.
But there are exceptions: the youngest person who died was only 19 years old, and the oldest was 62.
Military enlistment offices were interested in young men under 35, who may be in good shape and who have not served conscript service long ago, CIT said. But these people are better informed, less willing to follow summonses to military enlistment offices, and even willing to go into hiding.
“They are better informed about the brutality going on at the front, they understand the state of the Russian army. That is why it was easier for military enlistment offices to recruit people of age than young people: those who served in the noughties do not correlate their compulsory service in the army with what they have now – they think that everything has changed”, CIT analysts say.
An AFU strike on a Russian camp in Makiivka on January 1 resulted in the largest single loss of life among the mobilized. That night, at least 139 summoned men from the Samara region alone were killed (the Defense Ministry acknowledged the deaths of only 89 people).
Also 47 mobilized people died near Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region, moving in a convoy along a dangerous route. Major losses occurred in the fall and winter in the areas of Kupyansk – Svatove – Kreminna in the Luhansk region, where the Russian command tried to hold the front at the expense of mobilized troops. In total, the Russian army lost 250 people called up on summonses in this area.
About 100 mobilized men died near Donetsk, at least 40 near Bakhmut, more than 30 near Ugledar, and another 24 near Makiivka in the Svatove district of the Luhansk region.