The previously undisclosed figure was revealed by a pro-Kremlin newspaper and lays bare the true cost of Vladimir Putin’s disastrous invasion.
The Russian tyrant expected a swift victory when he ordered the invasion but his forces have met stiff Ukrainian resistance and could even soon buckle.
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Russia has kept the true its true death toll under wraps and on March 2 admitted to just 498 deaths.
But in an extraordinary move, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that according to the Russian defence ministry 9,861 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine and 16,153 were injured.
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The report was quickly taken down though several screenshots were taken including by the Wall Street Journal.
Ukraine claims to have killed around 15,000 Russians and destroyed large quantities of equipment.
The new figures disclosed by Russia is greater than the 7,000 thought to have died and up to 21,000 been injured the US military reportedly estimated.
It is reported that Russia is secretly transporting corpses of fallen Russian soldiers home at night on trains and ambulances via Belarus, to try and hide the true scale of the death toll.
Among the Russian dead are five generals as well as other senior commanders, including those from elite paratrooper units.
The latest senior officer to die is the deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in another damaging blow to Vladimir Putin’s forces.
First rank captain Andrey Paliy, 51, is the first senior Russian naval official to be killed in the war with Ukraine so far.
He was reportedly involved with Russian marine attacks near the port city of Mariupol when he died, although the exact circumstances of his reported death are not known.
Moscow is yet to officially acknowledge his death, but it appeared to be confirmed by fellow Russian Konstantin Tsarenko, secretary of the public council at Sevastopol Nakhimov Naval School.
Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko also claimed Paliy had been killed earlier on Sunday without giving any further details.
Paliy was born in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv but refused to take a Ukrainian military oath in 1993, instead opting to serve in the Russian Northern Fleet.
He had earlier served on the Russian nuclear missile cruiser “Peter the Great”, and was deputy head of the Russian naval academy in Sevastopol, in the annexed territory of Crimea.
It comes as Ukraine claimed to have killed a fifth Russian general, further damaging the resolve of Putin’s army.
Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev, commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army, died in fighting at Chornobaivka, near the southern city of Kherson.
Major-General Oleg Mityaev, 47, was killed in Mariupol on Wednesday, bringing the total number of Russian officers to die since the start of the war to 13.
A picture of the corpse of the decorated military officer, a father-of-two, was released by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko.
Photo Credit: Getty