Several media reports have claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to hide the actual number of Russian soldiers killed in his war against Ukraine.

A video recently went viral on social media, which claims to show buses with blacked-out windows allegedly carrying the corpses of Russian soldiers who were killed or injured in the war zone in Ukraine. The video was recorded in the Belarusian city of Homel few days ago.

"The wounded are 'children', young men born in 2003," a man was quoted as saying by The Mirror.

"They are all last autumn's conscripts, and they get delivered here without eyes, ears, with their intestines twisted."

NATO has claimed that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have died in the war. A report published in CNBC claimed that up to 40,000 Russian troops have either been killed or have gone missing in action, or have been captured.

A senior U.S. Defence official said that Russian forces are beset with "logistical and command and control issues."

Convoy of Russian buses, with windows blacked out, travel late at night back to Russia. They are thought to contain the corpses of Russian troops.

— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) March 19, 2022

"We picked up indications that some troops have actually suffered and been taken out of the fight because of frostbite," said the official.

However, Russia's defence ministry on Monday claimed that only 498 military personnel have died in the war.

A doctor at main city hospital in Mazyr, Belarus, claimed: "There are not enough surgeons. Earlier, the corpses were transported by ambulances and loaded on Russian trains. After someone made a video about it and it went on the Internet, the bodies were loaded at night so as not to attract attention."

Pro-Putin Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravd had earlier claimed that the death toll stands at 9,861, the newspaper later retracted the number.

The Ukrainian government has claimed that the Russian government has sent mobile crematoriums to Ukraine to burn their dead.

"The Russian people dying here, nobody is counting them, people dying in this war. Do you know they have brought a cremation chamber with them? They're not going to show the bodies to their families," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had said.

Ukraine meanwhile has set up a website that "publishes a steady stream of photos of dead soldiers and captured young men, sometimes alongside their identity cards."

"As a courtesy to the mothers of those soldiers, we are disseminating this information over social media to at least let families know that they they've lost their sons and to then enable them to come to collect their bodies," added Ukraine's vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

Ukrainian soldiers
Ukrainian soldiers carried a comrade's body out of debris Saturday at a military school hit by Russian rockets in Mykolaiv. Photo: AFP / BULENT KILIC