Saturday, October 11, 2014

Window on Eurasia: 1600 Russian Soldiers Have Died in Ukraine since Mensk Accords, Vasilyeva Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, October 11 – In yet another indication that there has not been a ceasefire in Ukraine and that Russian forces are actively involved there, Elena Vasilyeva, a Russian human rights activists, said today that as many as 1600 Russian servicemen have died in the Donbas fighting since the Mensk accords were concluded.


            At a press conference in Kharkiv, she said that “mothers who have buried their soldier children have written [her organization] with a request to talk about how their children died,” and it is on the basis of those letters rather than Russian official documents that she bases her estimate (


            Vasiliyeva added that “more than half of Russians do not want this war” and that they “are beginning to understand the Aesopian language” again being used by Moscow: “If something begins to be attacked in the press, then this means that he or she [and not the authorities] is speaking the truth.”


            She said that the 1600 Russian soldiers who have died in the Donbas fighting since the Mensk ceasefire accords brings to “more than 4,000” the number of Russian servicemen who have perished there, a figure that she acknowledged was “an approximation” but one as close to the truth as possible (


            Vasiliyeva added that the Russian military is doing what it can to conceal these losses, shipping the bodies in trucks to Rostov oblast which is becoming “a black hole” in this regard and then sending them to their home villages without any fanfare. The only way to learn about their numbers, she said, is from the mothers who report on “fresh graves” in distant villages.



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