The Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has collected information about the separatist casualties in the Donbas. According to the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense, 35,000-40,000 armed separatists of the self-proclaimed "republics" and 4,000-5,000 of the Russian military are members of the DPR (Dontesk People’s Republic) and LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) army corps.
"We collect data on the deaths, which are confirmed by our reconnaissance tools: radio-electronic, technical, and agential. That is, we know their given name, their surname, and where they came from. Believe me, these sources are enough for us; they are the same as those used by intelligence of all leading countries of the world, "- said Vadim Skibitsky, Spokesman for the Main Directorate of Defense Intelligence of Ukraine.
According to Skibitsky, the HUR has documented data on the deaths of more than 1,700 people who have fought on the side of the DPR and LPR. This includes 280 people in the first five months of this year; 850 in 2016; and 627 people over 9 months in 2015.
The HUR did not keep records of the seperatist deaths in 2014, so they are not included in the total figure. However, it was in 2014 that the battle for Donetsk airport took place, as well as the fight for Ilovaisk, in which both sides suffered significant losses.
Vadim Skibitsky emphasizes that the dead whose information remains unknown are no fewer than those who are documented. The count relies on available intelligence information about the nameless, or those about whom only "call signs" are known.
The HUR spokesman admits that it is extremely difficult to say exactly which of the dead are citizens of Russia, and which are residents of the Donbas.
"It is very difficult to determine who died: separatists with Ukrainian citizenship, mercenaries from the territory of Russia, or regular servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces. The Russian military enters the territory of Ukraine with "legends", changes their surnames, and receives call signs. There is one case known to us, for example, of the same call sign hiding different commanders for three years; we know that these were Russians," noted Vadim Skibitsky.
According to UN data, the death toll has reached 10,090 people since the beginning of the armed conflict in the Donbas.