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Russian authorities report on draftees' deaths in Ukraine for the first time
Five men from Russia’s Chelyabinsk region have died “in the zone of the special military operation in the Donbas,” the news outlet 74.ru reported on Thursday, citing the Chelyabinsk regional governor’s press service.
The press statement did not indicate the location or circumstances of the men’s deaths, but it did say the soldiers’ families will receive payments of one million rubles ($15,791) each in addition to the payments guaranteed by the federal government to relatives of troops killed in war.
The BBC Russian Service pointed out that this is the first time Russian authorities have officially acknowledged the deaths of mobilized soldiers at the front. News outlets wrote about the deaths of other conscripts earlier this week, but officials didn’t comment on the reports.
On October 10, local news outlet Vecherny Karpinsk reported the deaths of three mobilized soldiers near Kherson. On October 11, the Yekaterinburg-based outlet It’s My City wrote that a man from the city of Krasnoturyinsk had died, but military officials later told the man’s family that he survived. On October 12, Pavel Chikov, the head of the human rights group Agora, reported that Andrey Nikiforov, a lawyer from St. Petersburg, had died year Lysychansk.
Mobilization in Russia began on September 21. According to Meduza’s calculations, around 20 conscripts have died before being sent to the front.
Russia's draft officials: incompetent or indifferent?
Since Russia's mobilization drive began, draftees have complained of abysmal living conditions and severe supply shortages. One video showed future soldiers being told to collect tampons and menstrual pads to use as tourniquets on the battlefield.
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