WSJ: 20,000-50,000 Ukrainians Have Lost Limbs Since Russia Invaded

The amputations are on the scale of World War I

Between 20,000 and 50,000 Ukrainians have lost one or more limbs since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The figure is based on estimates made by prosthetics firms, doctors, and charities. The number could be higher as it takes time to register amputees after they undergo surgery, and fighting has intensified since Ukraine launched its counteroffensive in June.

The higher-end estimate of 50,000 came from the German prosthetics manufacturer Ottobock, which cited data from the government and medical partners. The estimate of 20,000 was based on data from the Kyiv-based charity Health of the Ukrainian People ICF. The charity estimates the number of serious injuries in the war is at 200,000 and says about 10% of serious injuries typically require amputations.

The number of Ukrainian amputations puts the war on the scale of World War I. According to the report, some 67,000 Germans and 41,000 Britons had to have amputations during the four-year war. Less than 2,000 Americans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan in this century have had amputations.

Ukraine has kept its casualty rates a secret throughout the war for propaganda purposes, but the staggering number of Ukrainians who lost limbs gives an idea of the human cost of the war.

Citing Ukrainian military estimates shared with American surgeons, the Journal report said that out of 100 soldiers wounded within about 3 miles of the front line, 36% suffered very severe injuries, while between 5% and 10% of all deployed troops were killed.

Despite the massive human cost, the Biden administration has shown no interest in pushing for peace talks. The US and its Western partners pushed for Ukraine to go on the offensive, knowing that Ukrainian forces did not have enough weapons and training to dislodge Russian troops.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.