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Putin shame as traumatised soldiers not receiving promised roubles in Ukraine war
July 29, 2022
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Russian soldiers were told in March, just after Putin announced the invasion, they would be given compensation if they were injured during the conflict. The Kremlin leader declared it “our duty to support the families of our fallen and injured comrades”.
But reports suggest some soldiers are finding it difficult to get hold of the very compensation they were promised.
Given the amount Moscow pledged, this is no small matter.
Soldiers were told they could claim compensation of three million roubles.
This equates to more than £40,000 – or, according to Reuters, the amount an average Russian worker would earn in four years.
The agency has been in contact with four injured Russian service personnel, a wounded soldier’s relative, two people involved with advocacy groups representing soldiers and a lawyer.
It reported: “For some, [difficulty receiving compensation is] because a little-noticed clarification to the rules has narrowed the criteria for eligibility; others face bureaucratic obstacles or delays in getting applications approved.”
The lawyer, Maxim Grebenyuk, said he has been contacted by hundreds of people asking for help receiving payments.
He claimed: “There’s a certain amount of social tension among military personnel.”
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The Russian Defence Ministry, Health Ministry and the Kremlin itself did not respond to Reuters’s request for a comment.
Compensation payments given to the relatives of Russians killed in the war might also have been made more complicated in order to make death counts as secretive as possible.
The Russian Defence Ministry proposed in April that families should have to apply to the military rather than to civilian authorities for these payments.
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This, according to Reuters, would help to “limit the circle of people” with information on Russian troops killed in Ukraine.
Another Russian law made it so that citizens could face up to 15 years in jail for spreading “false information” about the military.
Estimates vary wildly but the US suggests around 15,000 Russian soldiers could have been killed in Ukraine since February.
It also believes around 45,000 have been wounded.
Casualty figures for Ukraine are understood to be higher still given the country’s weaker standing and disadvantage in terms of artillery, ammunition and more.