Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday that 498 Russian military personnel have been killed since the invasion of Ukraine and 1,597 have been wounded, according to CNN.
Ukrainian officials have acknowledged casualties on their side and estimate Russian casualties to be much higher.
“Unfortunately, we have losses among our comrades who are participating in the operation,” Konashenkov said in a briefing carried on state television.
Russia’s armed forces employ a mix of contract soldiers and draftees. Konashenkov said Russian draftees were not fighting in Ukraine.
“I want to emphasize once again that neither conscripts nor cadets of educational institutions of the Russian Ministry of Defense are participating in a special operation,” he said. “The information spread by many Western and individual Russian media about the supposedly ‘innumerable’ losses of the Russian force is deliberate disinformation.”