Russia has lost nearly as many soldiers in the first two weeks of its fight with Ukraine as the U.S. did in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
A U.S. official told CBS News on Wednesday the U.S. is estimating between 5,000 and 6,000 Russian troops have been killed, adding, however, that it is difficult to count war casualties at this time in Ukraine.
The Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University estimates 7,057 U.S. troops died from 2001 to 2019 during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The count excludes those killed in 2020 and 2021.
CNN reported Thursday 7,075 U.S. soldiers were killed during the 20 years the U.S. was at war in the two countries.
The number of Russian troops killed could possibly be as low as 3,500, according to the official, although the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency had estimated earlier this week that as many as 4,000 Russian troops had been killed, Military.com reported.
Even with the lower estimates of Russian troops killed, the total would be higher than all the U.S. troop casualties in Afghanistan alone, which the Pentagon estimates to be 2,461 troops.
Russia and Ukraine have offered vastly different totals of how many Russians have been killed. Moscow has said as low as 2,870 troops while Kyiv states more than 11,000.
U.S. intelligence says the Ukrainian people have put up a much stronger resistance than expected.
Russia has not been able to capture the capital city of Kyiv but has gained ground in other parts of the country such as Irpen and Kherson.
Ukraine has been able to gather support with at least 20 countries sending them weapons and 20,000 foreign nationals volunteering to join the military and fight the Russian invasion.
Russia has been targeting schools and hospitals, and the United Nations says more than 500 civilians have been killed. The U.N. has said their estimates of civilian casualties so far are most likely low.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for a no-fly zone, and for Western countries to send fighter jets, but those requests have so far been denied.