Mothers of Russian soldiers (both contract servicemen and conscripts) continue appealing to human rights defenders because they do not receive information from their relatives. This was reported by Svetlana Golub, chairperson of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers, writes the news outlet “Caucasus. Realities” (”Кавказ.Реалии”). According to her, appeals of this kind are received daily.
“The influx of appeals is so vast that we simply do not have enough time to systematize and analyze all information. Mothers claim that their sons cannot not be reached for a long time, while in several cases it is known for certain that the draftees were sent to Ukraine – this was reported by their comrades-in-arms who returned to their home stations. Information regarding only one of the military units reports about 20 draftees sent there,” Golub specified.
The human rights defender said that she tried to reach out to the Ukrainian side for a dialogue on the information about prisoners of war; however her requests remained unanswered.
Russian authorities denied reports of draftees being involved in combat operations in Ukraine. In his March 8 greetings to Russian women, President Vladimir Putin stressed that draftees would not participate in the so-called ‘special operation’ in the territory of the neighbouring country. However, the very next day the Kremlin was forced to admit the participation of draftees in the war; Putin gave instructions to submit the materials to the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office for verification.
The bodies of the Russian soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine are evacuated both to Russia and Belarus, reports Radio Svaboda («Радыё Свабода», Radio Liberty, Belarus) with reference to its sources.
According to the outlet, hospitals in Mazyr, Gomel and Naroulia began to receive wounded Russian soldiers, while their morgues the dead from the first day of the war. Medics were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements under threat of dismissal.
Informers of the outlet say that the morgues in Mazyr and Gomel were overfull with the corpses of Russian soldiers on March 3. And in Mazyr, the arriving corpses last week were loaded immediately into the cars of the Russian Railways.
“The number of bodies was really huge! People who were at the Mazyr railway station were simply shocked by the number of corpses loaded onto the train. People started filming videos, but the military caught up with them and ordered to delete the videos,” one of the Mazyr residents told reporters.
He also said that in the village of Kamenka near Mazyr, a cemetery was cordoned off, no one was allowed in. Maybe they started burying Russians there. “Moreover, there is an airfield and a large camp of Russians near Kamenka-Bokova,” he said.
Another source says that the hospital in Mazyr is still full of wounded Russians; even highly specialized doctors work with them.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation issued an official statement on the death toll only once, on 2 March. According to them, 498 people were known to have been killed by that time. According to official sources, 116 Russian servicemen died during four years of the war in Syria. During the Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008, 67 people. Depending on the source, the number of KIAs among the Russian Federation military personnel in two years of the First Chechen War varies from 4,103 to 5,042 people.