According to the website of a pro-Kremlin tabloid, Russia has lost nearly 10,000 soldiers in the Ukraine conflict. The claim was promptly removed by the publication as a damage control measure, but not before its screenshots went viral.
In a report published Sunday by the pro-government Komsomolskaya Pravda, officials from the Russian Defense Ministry disputed the Ukrainian reports of casualties.
Despite Ukrainian officials claiming that more than 15,000 Russian soldiers have died in the conflict, according to the tabloid 9,861 soldiers have died in Ukraine and 16,153 have been injured.
A pro-Ukrainian employee was believed to be responsible, according to The Daily Mail. Russia acknowledged 498 deaths on March 2.
While the article has been removed from the publication, it has been archived and that version discusses the casualty figures revealed by Russian military officials.
There is a newer version of the article on Pravda that does not contain any figures. It contains a positive statement about Russian progress, stating that "two tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, six field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as about 60 militants of a Ukrainian nationalist formation were destroyed."
It will be a month since Moscow invaded Ukraine, but till now, Moscow hasn't been able to take Kyiv, its capital. The military assault has been heavy, as tanks and missiles have destroyed many Ukrainian cities.
After March 2, Russia hasn't confirmed any official casualties. However, The New York Times reported that 7,000 Russian troops have been killed, more than American soldiers in 20 years of war in the Middle East.
Similarly, CNN reported on Russian casualties, stating that there were between 3,000 and 10,000. In the 1979 invasion, approximately 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, but over a 10-year period.