Russian soldiers killed in action in Ukraine “belong to the state,” a regional governor He said In a meeting with the mothers of fallen soldiers on Thursday.
The candid comments from Igor Kobzev, head of the Irkutsk region in southeastern Siberia, come as the Russian military officially admits to taking fewer than 6,000 casualties despite suffering major setbacks in its nine-month invasion.
Quoting his mother’s words to him when he entered a military academy, Kobzev, 56, said:
“From now on, you do not belong to me, you belong to the state, the fatherland.”
“With great honor and understanding, I hand over an 18-year-old boy to serve in the Armed Forces and you become a state person.”
At the meeting, Kobzev awarded medals to the mothers of dead soldiers and claimed that only 28 residents of the Irkutsk region had died in Ukraine.
Independent media, which tracks Russian military deaths, says 122 servicemen from the Irkutsk region have been killed in Ukraine since February.
The outlets were able to confirm the names 9000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine.
Senior American officials estimate that 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, missing, or seriously wounded in the war.
President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet mothers of soldiers fighting in Ukraine later on Thursday.
The run-up to the upcoming meeting has faced accusations from soldiers’ relatives that Putin is likely to meet. Carefully selected reps and continue to ignore their concerns.