It took six weeks after the Russian forces invaded Ukraine, for the Kremlin to admit “significant losses” on the Russian side.
Vladimir Putin and his services have since continued to underestimate the losses in their ranks.
While many relatives have been allowed to bury their dead soldiers, a large number of families also live in uncertainty about what happened to them.
Ukrainian authorities Claims To receive about 32,000 inquiries from relatives, they ask for information about Russian soldiers with whom they have lost contact.
Many of them are said to have been abandoned on the Ukrainian battlefields or otherwise hidden.
– Storage in landfills
Already in the fourth week of the war, there were reports of crowded morgues of dead Russian soldiers in Belarus. Residents of the southern region Hummel Radio Free Europe About “horrific” quantities of bodies arriving from the neighboring country.
An employee of a regional hospital claimed that more than 2,500 of them were sent to Russia.
Ukrainian security service It now claims to have intercepted conversations showing that Russia, in order to hide its losses, is putting the names of the dead soldiers on a missing persons list.
– Their bodies are stored in makeshift landfills, where the mountains of corpses are two meters high, according to the security service, based on a published audio clip.
The Russian authorities have not commented on these allegations, nor have they been confirmed by independent sources. The security service did not publish further details about the alleged hills.
Earlier, the Ukrainian president’s advisor, Oleksiy Aristovich, claimed Washington Post More than 7,000 Russian bodies are stored in morgues and refrigerated freight trains in Ukraine.
Al Jazeera Reported on Monday from one of these trains in the Kyiv region. Television images show carts full of body bags. A Ukrainian official displays the contents of one of them.
Russia refuses to accept them. He doesn’t want them. If they continue to refuse, Ukraine will bury them at their own expense, Colonel Volodymyr Lyamzin in the Ukrainian army tells the channel.
It is described as a state secret
No one knows the exact figures of the number of soldiers who died in Ukraine.
Russian Ministry of Defense He claimed in late March that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed since the invasion began, and he has not released any new figures since.
A month in the estimated war NATO The number ranges between 7000 and 15,000. Ukraine It now claims it has risen to about 26,000, while the British government believes the Russians lost about 15,000 soldiers.
According to Russia underestimate its losses experts Good reasons: The large number of dead soldiers will make the war less popular.
What the Putin regime fears most is its people. Bringing children home in coffins from a senseless war that you did not support or understand will always lead to outrage, Arv Hansen, a Helsinki Committee advisor, told Dagbladet previously.
In Russia, all military deaths in so-called special operations have been classified as state secrets since 2015.
according to Moscow Times The army’s procedures in dealing with the dead soldiers make it easier for the authorities to conceal the true numbers of the dead.
An anonymous military lawyer claims to the newspaper that the reports of the dead soldiers, which are sent in queues, are very poor, and no one has an accurate overview.
According to the newspaper, the body must be identified in order for the deceased soldier to be registered as killed in action. Unidentified bodies are considered missing. The same applies to corpses that have not been returned to Russia.
The Russian president promised to pay 7.4 million rubles to all families of officials killed in Ukraine.
If the death is not legally confirmed, the person’s relatives will not receive any compensation, according to two of the aforementioned lawyers.
So far, the war has led to an alleged increase in Putin’s popularity.
Many families of soldiers stationed on the main ship in Moscow, which sank in mid-April, commented, among other things, on what they described as a secret from the Russian authorities.
It took more than a week before the authorities acknowledged that human lives died when the missile cruiser sank.
The Ministry of Defense announced the death of one person and the missing 27 others. The ship’s crew probably consisted of about 500.
Watchman They spoke to several families of dead or missing crew members who said their sons were recruits.
A month ago claimed Russian authorities said nearly all of the conscripts in the invasion forces had been returned to Russia.
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