How do we get a realistic estimate of deaths in a war if one side intentionally does not make their figures known?

137 views
0

How do we get a realistic estimate of deaths in a war if one side intentionally does not make their figures known?

In: 8

Educated guess work, in ww2 russian death toll is somewhere between the official toll 20 million durring the soviet era and the estimated 26 million was the new official number post soviet but some scholars place it over 40 million, representing about 1/3 of the Russian population

Edit: u/trulyindependent asked for a source and i looked into it, i was off by ~half on both figures so i changed it im sorry

After the war, serious academics will investigate the records, but during a war that sort of detailed information can’t be accurately calculated.

There are no accurate casualty counts ever. Not ever in the history of war. There are only estimates, made by the victors.

You can’t really. The best you can do is take note of both sides “confirmed” kills, compare it to reported deaths on both sides, take in the ones reported as missing. Hope both sides keep accurate records, especially for things like POWs who will throw off your counts. Then look at what is reported post war when possible. Then accept your numbers are, at best, an educated guess.

I heard on a Dutch mainstream news outlet that Ukraine actually asked the Red Cross to do death counts in Ukraine. That’s a great move to get better numbers out there, because it’s an independent third party.

Is the Red Cross everywhere and will they catch every death: no, war is too chaotic for that. However, whatever the Red Cross lists as Russian and Ukrainian deaths, show at least the minimum, and those numbers are reliable.