Russian president Vladimir Putin has decreed that all Russian casualties “in peacetime” be a state secret. In addition to criminal charges arising from divulging state secrets, families risk losing pensions and lump-sum payments if they reveal that their sons were killed in Ukraine. Mothers of soldiers’ associations have been branded “foreign agents” for collecting data on Russian casualties. Dissident Boris Nemtsov was murdered shortly before completing his study of Russian casualties in Ukraine. Russian civil rights organizations, working against the fog of official resistance, could confirm only several hundred battlefield deaths.
Business Life (Delovaya Zhizn) reports on markets, finance, entrepreneurship, finance, and leisure, scarcely an outlet for sensational information. Its innocuously entitled “Increases in Pay for Military in 2015,” however, reveals what appear to be official figures on the number of Russian soldiers killed or made invalids “in eastern Ukraine.” Russian censors quickly removed the offending material but not before it had been webcached by the Ukrainian journal Novy Region (New Region). Here is the “top secret” material the censors removed (my translation): ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»