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Russia to Classify Information on Ukraine Troop Deaths

Denis Voronin / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s military is seeking to restrict access to information about the relatives of soldiers killed in Ukraine, according to submitted regulatory documents.

Troop losses during peacetime special operations, Moscow’s official name for its nearly eight-week campaign in Ukraine, have already been classified as state secrets since 2015.

Under the newly proposed rules, Russia’s Defense Ministry wants enlistment offices to replace civilian authorities in issuing certificates that offer benefits to killed soldiers’ relatives.

It explains the need to “limit the number of persons with access to information about family members of the Russian Armed Forces troops who died during special military operations in Ukraine.”

The proposal currently under public discussion comes as an increasing number of the sunken Moskva missile cruiser crew's relatives have told the media that their sons or brothers are missing.

The Defense Ministry says the Moskva crew was evacuated, but did not say how many.

Local civilian authorities currently issue certificates that provide benefits — including pension bonuses and paid utilities — as part of rules established in 2013.

Enlistment officers are currently only authorized to pay benefits to the soldiers’ disabled relatives, according to the BBC’s Russian service. 

Russia last revealed its losses at the one-month mark of the war, claiming 1,351 troops killed as of March 25.

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