Whilst Russia continues to deny that its troops are fighting in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, a respected news site in Russia seemingly inadvertently published secret figures that detail deaths and causalities of forces on the ground.
According to Forbes, Russian news site Business Life (Delovaya Zhizn) revealed what seem to be official figures detailing the number of Russian troops killed and injured in “Eastern Ukraine.” The site, which generally focuses on coverage of markets, finance and leisure, posted a piece entitled “Increases in Pay for Military in 2015,” that at first glance would be uncontroversial.
But the article appears to detail the numbers of Russian deaths, as well as the figures for those injuried. The content was hastily removed, but it was webcached by the Ukrainian journal Novy Region (New Region).
Putin decreed in May this year that all military deaths are to remain state secrets. In the past, only deaths in wartime were classified. At the time, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the decision was connected to fighting in Ukraine, simply stating that the law change was part of “the improvement of the state secret law.”