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Counting the Soviet Union’s War Dead: Still 26-27 Million


  • Harrison, Mark

    (University of Warwick)


A new estimate of the Soviet population loss in World War II, by Russian historian Igor’ Ivlev, is 42 million. This is 15-16 million more than the previous estimate of 26-27 million. The latter, by Russian demographers Andreev, Darskii, and Khar’kova, has been widely accepted for a quarter of a century. I examine the new estimate, show its place in the Soviet demographic accounts side by side with the old one, contrast their sources and methods, and find that the new figure is without foundation. The previous figure stands. On existing knowledge, the Soviet war dead were 26-27 million.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrison, Mark, 2017. "Counting the Soviet Union’s War Dead: Still 26-27 Million," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 332, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:332

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark Harrison, 2003. "Counting Soviet Deaths in the Great Patriotic War: Comment," Europe-Asia Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(6), pages 939-944.
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    population; Soviet Union; war losses; World War II JEL Classification: J11; N44;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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