Russia hid social support statistics to cover up war losses - ISW

Russia hid social support statistics to cover up war losses - ISW

The Russian government reportedly hid data on recipients of social support services in 2022, likely to obfuscate casualties suffered in the first year of the war in Ukraine or to cover up the government's inability to pay promised social support to vulnerable populations.

That's according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukrinform reports.

According to ISW analysts, Russian opposition outlet Verstka investigated the Russian Unified State Information System for Social Security (EGISSO) and reported on March 4 that EGISSO has hidden the data on recipients of social benefits in 2022.

Some of the hidden data contain information that could reveal the scale of losses in Ukraine, such as indicators about "widows of military personnel who died during military service" and "citizens who were wounded, concussed, injured, and mutilated while performing military duties."

According to ISW experts, the EGISSO may have hidden this information to prevent social discontent arising around reports of Russian casualties in Ukraine and decided only to share this information in 2023 and 2024 when the Kremlin line on Russian losses has consolidated somewhat to eliminate social shocks.

Read also: Russia willing to risk aviation losses in pursuit of gains in Avdiivka sector - ISW

"The Kremlin may have also hidden 2022 social services data to cover its issues in providing promised social support measures to various individuals, particularly those impacted by the first year of the war," ISW analysts said.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia has already lost about 419,020 troops in its war against Ukraine.

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