A Wagner commander revealed that the group recorded more than 22,000 gunmen killed and more than 40,000 wounded during the operation in Ukraine.

“As of May 20, a total of 25,000 members are alive and well. Of these, 15,000 are on vacation and 10,000 fighters are already in Belarus,” the commander nicknamed Marx of the Russian private military group Wagner said on July 20.

Marx added that 22,000 people were killed and more than 40,000 wounded during the fighting in Ukraine. This shows that Wagner deployed about 78,000 fighters in the Russian campaign in Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry and Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin have not commented on the information.

Prigozhin announced at the end of May that the Wagner group had lost 20,000 fighters in the 10-month battle in the city of Bakhmut, half of them former prisoners.

In late June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian forces had “destroyed 21,000 Wagner members and wounded about 80,000”.

The battle at Bakhmut is considered the most intense and prolonged since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out in February 2022, when both sides focused on the city in the Donetsk region. Wagner fighters played a shock role here and declared complete control of Bakhmut on May 20, then handed over the battlefield to the Russian Ministry of Defense and withdrew to the back line.

The media agency of boss Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin on July 19 posted a video of him welcoming his forces to Belarus. Prigozhin told the fighters that they are now stopping their participation in the war in Ukraine, will stay in Belarus for a while and gather strength for a “new journey to Africa”.