Ever since the start of the Russian invasion, information on Russian casualties has been scarce.

While the Ukrainian government now claims over 15,000 Russian servicemen have been killed, the Russian authorities admitted to just under 500 deaths on 2 March.

BBC Russian has conducted a detailed investigation, confirming the names and ranks of 557 Russian soldiers and officers killed in Ukraine by sifting through social media and local announcements as well as speaking to the relatives.

The investigation found that 15 of Russia’s 85 regions had not published any information about local servicemen killed in Ukraine.

But in one such area – the Kemerovo region in Siberia – BBC Russian (with the help of local residents who asked not to be identified) established identities and burial places of seven soldiers and officers.

A few hours after the BBC investigation was published, the Kemerovo authorities announced that 13 servicemen had been buried in the region since the start of the war.

But there is evidence of growing pressure on local journalists – some earlier reports about soldiers killed in action have been deleted.

One Siberian journalist told the BBC: “At the level of the regional government, all local media outlets were instructed not to publish any data on losses in Ukraine. There are cases when local officials put pressure on the relatives of the victims, ordering them to stay silent.

“They say: ‘There is no need to make a fuss now, we will find a way to commemorate your boys later.'” -BBC


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here