Among the many staggering statistics produced by the war in Ukraine, one may prove as consequential as any for the people of Western Europe: A daily flow of 170 million cubic meters of gas has now been shut down — completely. Having already decreased its daily output via the Nord Stream pipeline, and having said initially that a late August shutdown would be brief, Russia announced that the cutoff would continue indefinitely.
Those 170 million cubic meters constituted a prewar flow that served Germany in particular — 55 percent of Germany’s prewar gas supplies came via Russia — and other countries in Europe. The shutdown also risks driving already-steep energy prices higher still.
As worrisome as the cut itself is the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has now clearly linked gas deliveries to Western sanctions — a linkage that many Europeans had feared. Putin said Wednesday that Gazprom could restart gas flows to Europe via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline if sanctions were relaxed and Russia received the turbines it needs.
“Give us a turbine and we will turn on Nord Stream 1 tomorrow. But they don’t give us anything.” Putin said.
Putin was repeating claims made by Gazprom, which said the full cutoff of Nord Stream was a consequence of Germany’s failure to handle repairs to the pipeline’s turbines.
Officials at Siemens Energy, which produces the gas turbines, along with officials in the German government and the European Union all disputed the Russian claims. An EU spokesperson told the BBC the sanctions do not affect the technology needed for Nord Stream to operate.
Meanwhile, the Nord Stream shutdown will only exacerbate Europe’s energy crisis, which traces to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has countries across Europe working to cut demand and boost gas storages before winter descends on the continent. In the longer term, the EU is moving to end a dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies that proved devastating — for the pain it causes at home, but also because it means Europeans have continued to send billions of dollars to Russia to pay for all those supplies.
Grid’s reporting is based on the best available data and reporting; in some cases, we explained a range of figures or the reason we chose one over another. We originally published this document March 24 and will update it every Thursday as long as the war persists.
Civilians killed: at least 5,700 (probably thousands more)
On June 7, a Ukrainian official said at least 40,000 Ukrainian civilians had been killed or wounded since the war began. The official offered no breakdown of dead versus wounded civilians. The United Nations’ latest estimate of civilians killed is more than 5,700, but it consistently notes the figure is an undercount, as is its estimate of total casualties — a combination of deaths and injuries — given as nearly 14,000. (Updated Sep. 5; source.)
Ukrainian soldiers killed: 5,500 to 11,000
Top advisers to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have estimated that 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the war began. Meanwhile, on Aug. 22, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, said the country had lost about 9,000 troops. U.S. intelligence officials have put the number at 5,500 to 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed since the invasion. On June 10, an adviser to Zelenskyy said Ukraine was losing as many as 200 soldiers each day. (Updated Aug. 24; source, source.)
Russian soldiers killed: 1,351 to over 50,000
Ukraine has raised its estimate of Russian soldiers killed in the conflict to more than 50,000. NATO has estimated Russian troop losses at between 7,000 and 15,000. Russian media outlets claimed 5,000 troop losses, though the last updated number of 1,351 deaths from the Russian defense ministry is from March. Russian spokesman Dimitry Peskov said there have been “significant losses of troops, and it’s a huge tragedy for us.” (Updated Sep. 7; source, source, source.)
Russian generals killed: 8 to 13
A retired Russian general was reportedly shot down over Luhansk in late May — by Ukrainian counts, this was the 13th Russian general to be killed in Ukraine. Previously, the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that eight to 10 Russian generals had been killed in Ukraine. Grid’s Tom Nagorski and Joshua Keating previously reported on the possible explanations for this “inconceivable” toll: poor communications and command-and-control structures within the Russian military. (Updated May 25; source, source.)
Total displaced Ukrainians: over 13 million
There are more than 7 million Ukrainian refugees reported in other European countries currently. United Nations data indicates more than 11 million Ukrainians have crossed the border since the start of the war, but millions have returned home, largely from Poland, as Nikhil Kumar and Kseniia Lisnycha reported. The International Organization for Migration’s latest survey of internally displaced Ukrainians, in late August, found more Ukrainians returning home from within Ukraine, but nearly 7 million remained displaced within their own country. (Updated Sep. 7; source; source.)