The mothers of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine last week have accused pro-Kremlin war correspondents of causing their deaths by revealing their positions, a journalist with the BBC’s Russian Service has said. said Thursday.
The mothers said Ukrainian artillery fire killed at least five soldiers and seriously injured three others, according to the daily Izvestia published a field report of Russian tanks firing on Ukrainian positions on June 30.
“This happened after [war correspondents] declassifying the location of military equipment and personnel in the video,” the mothers wrote in a letter shared by Russian BBC journalist Ilya Barabanov.
Neither the letter nor the Izvestia report mentions the location of the alleged Ukrainian attacks.
The letter from the mothers is addressed to the head of the branch of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers in the Astrakhan region in southern Russia, where the unit that was attacked is based.
He asks the NGO to ask the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shogu, to prohibit the work of war correspondents integrated into Russian separatist and pro-Moscow units on the battlefield.
“We demand immediate action to prohibit the activities of war correspondents in areas of active combat operations,” the mothers wrote.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on the letter.
The ministry last updated its official death toll in Ukraine at the end of March, with 1,351 confirmed deaths.
Independent investigative newspaper iStories said it verified 4,267 Russian soldier deaths since Moscow invaded Ukraine in late February.
Both Ukrainian and Western intelligence estimated the Russian military death toll to be significantly higher.
Senior Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhaylo Podolyak said this week that up to 115,000 Russian soldiers were killed or injured during the four-month campaign.