It is hard to know what is true and what is propaganda regarding the war in Ukraine. The Western powers are augmenting all atrocities and Russian losses. Russia for its part is trying to frame the conflict as a military operation rather than a war with the narrative of freeing Ukrainians from Nazi oppressors. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
What is extremely easy to see is the individual body count. It is much easier to confirm the deaths of individual players than it is to get accurate troop casualty numbers.
Although you can confirm the dead, it is difficult to figure out what their deaths mean. Take for example the high number of Russian Oligarchs in Putin’s inner circle who have ‘committed suicide’ this year.
Some of these men were found dead with their families. Vladislav Avaev, for example, allegedly shot his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself. In isolation, this event could be taken at face value, but the sheer number of rich Russians showing up dead is concerning. There are a few theories as to what is happening.
The least likely is that the story being told in the media is what happened. Namely, all these people committed suicide. There are just too many people for this to be a credible explanation.
It is more likely that Putin is cleaning house of the people he believes are breaking ranks from his mission in Ukraine. The war is not going as well as he had hoped, and all the yes men in his inner circle are paying the price for not giving him an accurate picture of what was happening.
Another theory is that foreign powers are isolating Putin by killing his closest confidants. This is the most destabilizing explanation. Ukraine does not have the reach to carry out targeted assassinations which means if this is happening NATO and her partners are directly involved in targeting Russians in their home countries and abroad.