World War II in Ukraine:

Total Losses by Country

Andrew Gregorovich

Total Losses by Country

Kosyk gives 2.5 million military and 4.5 million civilian deaths or a total loss of 7 million for Ukraine compared to a total German loss of 6.5 million. Other losses in World War II: Poland 5 (or 6) million, Japan 2.36 million, Yugoslavia 1.7 million, France 600,000, Italy 500,000, Romania 500,000, Greece 450,000, Hungary 430,000, Great Britain 350,000, Czechoslovakia 340,000, Austria 374,000, USA 300,000, Holland 210,000, Finland 100,000, Belgium 88,000 and Canada 42,000. Byelorussia lost 2,198,000 civilians. The Russian SFSR, or Russia, lost 1,781,000 civilians and about 3 to 4 million military or about 5 to 6 million total according to Kosyk.

Academician Yuri Kondufor, Director of the Institute of History , Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, in September 1984 gave for the first time precise statistics of Ukrainian population losses in World War II. He stated that there was a total loss of 7.5 million (7,509,045) including the dead and those taken as slave laborers to Germany. The German occupation and World War II resulted in the extermination and death in Ukraine of 3,898,457 civilians and 1,366,588 military and prisoners-of-war for a total of 5,265,045. (Gregorovich, Forum No. 61).

According to Professor Kondufor there were also 2,244,000 Ukrainian citizens taken to Germany for slave labor in the German war industry. Most of these probably perished in Allied bombing raids. According to these statistics provided by Prof. Kondufor, Ukraine's total World War II loss was 7.5 million. To this should be added the loss of 250,159 in Carpatho-Ukraine and Crimea giving a total of 5,515,204 dead according to Kosyk or 7,759,204 total lost including Zakarpatia and Crimea. This includes about 600,000 Ukrainian Jews. Kondufor's statistics, perhaps the most accurate of all, probably cover the period from June 1941 rather than September 1939.

The Encyclopedia of Ukraine (University of Toronto Press, vol. 5, p. 727) states: "An estimated 6.8 million Ukrainians were killed.... About 200,000 Ukrainian displaced persons [DPs] ended up in the emigration to the West; the vast majority were returned to Soviet rule through forced repatriation." Bohdan Krawchenko states that "In the course of the conflict 6.8 million people were killed, of whom 600,000 were Jews and 1.4 million were military personnel who either perished at the front or died as prisoners of war (POWs)." (Ukraine during World War II, ed. by Y. Boshyk, p. 15)

Toronto historian Orest Subtelny in his Ukraine: A History (University of Toronto Press, 1994) states: "Even a cursory listing of losses reflects the terrible impact that the Second World War had on Ukraine and its inhabitants. About 5.3 million, or one of six inhabitants of Ukraine, perished in the conflict. An additional 2.3 million had been shipped to Germany to perform forced labor." (p. 479).

Soviet encyclopedia gave the following statistics: "During this war over 20 million Soviet people were killed including many peaceful citizens. On the territory of Ukraine along the Hitlerites destroyed over 5 million people and more than 2 million people were carried off into slavery [in Germany]." (Ukrainska Radyanska Entsyklopedia, Kyiv 1978, vol. 2, p. 152).

Even if we accept the conservative figure offered by Prof. Kondufor (during Soviet rule it should be mentioned), Ukraine's loss of about 7.5 million people is greater than the total military loss of the USA, Canada, British Commonwealth, France, Germany and Italy all put together. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica the total military losses of these countries in World War II was 4,305,214. The statistics are: USA 292,100; British Commonwealth 544,596 (including 39,139 Canadians); France 210,671 (+ 107,847 civilians); Germany 2,850,000, and Italy 300,000.

In conclusion it seems reasonable to estimate that because of the German occupation and the Soviet repression from 1939 to 1945 during World War II, that Ukraine lost about 10,000,000 citizens or one Ukrainian out of four. It is reasonably estimated that about 50 million people perished in the world because of World War II which means 20 per cent of all the victims were Ukrainians. In this figure are about 600,000 Ukrainian Jews.

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Copyright © 1995 Andrew Gregorovich

Reprinted from FORUM Ukrainian Review No. 92, Spring 1995

since March 1st 1997