Russia responds to public outcry against casualties

November 8, 2022
Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

Please help us rescue our mobilized [men] and remove them from the first line of defense.

Inna Popova, wife of a Russian soldier, said in a video posted by a Russian media outlet. Following steep casualties of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, Russian officials issued a rare official response to public criticism.

Why It Matters: Criticizing the war is illegal in Russia – as is calling it a war instead of a "special military operation" – but family members of Russian troops who died in eastern Ukraine recently spoke out, criticizing military commanders in charge. In response, Russian authorities released their first official statement regarding mass casualties and war-related criticism on Telegram ("the main platform used by officials as well as by reporters and bloggers covering the Russian war") since the war began in February, The Washington Post reports.

An excerpt from the Russian Defense Ministry's statement issued on Monday: “Due to the competent actions of the commanders, the losses among the marines over this period do not exceed 1 percent of the combat personnel and 7 percent of the wounded, a significant part of whom have already returned to duty."

Russia’s heavy casualties in Ukraine spark outcry and rare official response (The Washington Post)

by Jenna Lee,