Russia’s Ethnic Minorities Suffering Disproportionate Losses: UK Intel

AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko

Ethnic minorities from Russian regions far from Moscow and St Petersburg are taking disproportionate losses in the war in Ukraine, according to British intelligence.

In its Sunday update on the course of the war in Ukraine, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) asserted that Russia is continuing to “suffer extremely heavy casualties” — but that the impact of this “varies dramatically” depending on which part of the sprawling Eurasian state is being considered.

“In many of the Eastern regions, deaths are likely running, as a percentage of population, at a rate 30+ times higher than in Moscow. In places, ethnic minorities take the biggest hit; in Astrakhan some 75 per cent of casualties come from the minority Kazakh and Tartar populations,” the MoD claimed.

Bordering Poland in the west and North Korea in the east, the Russian Federation is significantly more ethnically diverse than many realise, with its patchwork of autonomous republics, krais, okrugs, and other so-called federal subjects often being majority non-Russian, and the majority religion Islam or Buddhism rather than Russian Orthodox Christianity.

It also hosts a large Central Asian migrant population, which Moscow has been actively recruiting for the war effort, promising fast-track citizenship in exchange for a year of military service.

“In proportion to the size of their population, the richest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been left relatively unscathed,” the intelligence update asserted.

They added that this is “especially true for the families of the country’s elite” — although this is somewhat at odds with previous British claims that Russian generals have been dying in unusually high numbers in the war.

“As the Russian MoD seeks to address its continued deficit of combat personnel, insulating the better-off and more influential elements of Russian society will highly likely remain a major consideration,” the British suggested.

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