Russian military prosecutors refused to shed light into the deaths of 12 Russian paratroopers that allegedly perished while fighting alongside insurgents in Ukraine's turbulent east, citing state secrecy requirements.
In a letter published by Pskov regional lawmaker Lev Shlosberg on Monday, military prosecutors claimed that all 12 paratroopers died outside of their permanent posts and that the circumstances of their deaths have been carefully investigated and are known.
The letter also says that information "on these events" cannot be disclosed, however, because it would be contrary to "the interests of the Russian Federation."
Shlosberg is investigating the deaths of Russian military servicemen buried in Pskov as Western governments accused Russia of sending its troops to help east Ukrainian rebels fight Kiev's forces.
After publishing an article examining the possible circumstances behind the soldiers' deaths in Ukraine in late August, Shlosberg was beaten up and hospitalized.