Russia's losses in WWII estimated at some 27 million people - paper

Some 27 million Russians died during the Second World War, a Russian daily said on Thursday, citing estimates by a Russian interdepartmental commission.

According to Vremya Novostey newspaper, the total fatalities of the Soviet Union, both soldiers and civilians, were 26.6 million people, of those an estimated 8,668,400 soldiers died.

Contrary to conventional claims that Russia simply sacrificed its soldiers, the ratio of combat losses of the Red Army to the Wehrmacht was 1.3:1. However, if non-combat losses are taken into account, the ratio changes radically. German losses have been estimated at around 6 million people and its allies (Italy, Austria, Japan, etc.) lost some 806,000.

The commission implemented a new method to estimate fatalities based on archives of troop deployment to military offices and arrivals at the front.

As expected, the current statistics do not differ much from the data from the Armed Forces General Staff provided in 1980s-1990s.

The interdepartmental commission was created on October 23, 2009, by order of the Russian defense minister. The commission includes representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Russian Interior Ministry, the Federal State Statistics Service, and the Russian Archives.

Russia will mark the 65th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 with its biggest ever post-Soviet demonstration of military hardware. This year is the first time that troops from other countries will take part in the parade.

The deadliest war ever claimed over 60 million lives in total.

The verified data of Russia's total losses during the Second World War is expected to be approved by relevant regulations and formally reported to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on May 9, 2010.

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