A 26-year-old Russian soldier was killed in the first days of the Ukraine war during an attack on the Hostomel airport near Kyiv. DW spoke with his grieving mother who still defends Russia’s actions.
On February 24, Russia launched war on Ukraine though Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to refer to the campaign as a “special military operation.”
Scores of Russian soldiers have been killed since fighting broke out roughly one month ago. But often, neither the soldiers nor their families are told where they will be been sent to fight.
So far, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has only twice reported fatality figures relating to its troops. On March 25, authorities acknowledged a total of 1,351 Russian servicemen had been killed in Ukraine.
Yet a NATO source cited in the Washington Post estimates roughly 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers could have fallen since February 24. On March 20, Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reported 9,861 Russian deaths, citing the Ministry of Defense.
The piece was quickly removed from the website, with editors claiming the newspaper had been hacked.
26-year-old staff sergeant Yevgeny was killed in the early days of the war near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. He had never taken part in combat operations before.
Despite losing her son Yevgeny, Natalya (not her actual name) argues the invasion of Ukraine is justified. Yet she thinks Russia’s campaign amounts to a full-fledged war, rather than a “special operation.”
German wave (Deutsche Welle)