Skip to main content

Russian authorities using Soviet-era death notice forms for soldiers

Source: Meduza

On Wednesday, human rights activist Marina Litvinovich posted a photo of one of the death notices sent by the Russian government to the family of a soldier who died in Ukraine. The information on the form was filled out by hand sometime in the last month, but the form itself was printed in 1974. In the Soviet era, these documents gave soldiers' relatives the right to apply for pensions and benefits that were established by Soviet legislation, Litvinovich noted.

The BBC Russian Service and Mediazona have been working with a team of volunteers to collect data about the Russian army’s losses in Ukraine from open sources. According to material the BBC published on August 8, Russia has lost at least 5.424 soldiers and officers in the war.

The Ukrainian authorities reported on August 11 that the Russian army has lost a total of 43,000 servicemen. In late July, CIA Director William Burns estimated Russia’s losses at 15,000 soldiers, with another 45,000 injured. But on August 8, a Pentagon official put the figure at between 70,000 and 80,000.

The Russian authorities have reported on military losses twice since the war in Ukraine began. On March 2, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that 498 soldiers had died and 1,597 had been injured. On March 25, it reported 1,351 deaths and 3,825 injuries.