The Ukraine war is also claiming more victims than expected on the Russian side. The families of the fallen soldiers receive compensation – something that state propaganda even presents as an advantage.

The Russian population hardly learns anything about the war in Ukraine from the domestic media – and certainly not the truth. Instead, the Kremlin’s propaganda is being disseminated via newspapers, online portals and television channels. But the war has been going on for almost five months, many Russian soldiers have died and families are mourning. However, Russian state propaganda tries to present these losses as an opportunity for the relatives.

A report by the state television station “Rossiya 1” (“Russia 1”) shows what compensation the families of the deceased Russian soldiers are waving to. According to the state news agency Interfax, the Russian government has promised the bereaved 7.4 million rubles, the equivalent of around 130,000 euros at the current exchange rate. The station shows the family of a 31-year-old who died in Ukraine just three days after the war began.

War in Ukraine: Russian families are fobbed off with money

The parents bought a new car with the money they received for their son’s death. They proudly present their new car from the Russian brand Lada. His son always wanted a white car like this, says the father. With the compensation, at least the parents can now fulfill this wish as a souvenir of their child. The first trip leads to the cemetery.

Her fallen son is a hero for mother and father: Like his great-grandfathers and grandfathers, he fought against fascism. There is no criticism of the Russian regime that caused the war and killed her son in the process.

“You can’t make that up,” commented Francis Scarr, the BBC’s Russia expert. The compensation payments are called “coffin money” in propaganda language, officially they are called “lump-sum allowance for the family of the deceased”. However, it is questionable whether the compensation is really that high – and how many families receive it at all.

Number of fallen Russian soldiers unclear

In any case, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin does not seem to be interested in an early peace. He is trying to fob off families whose sons do not return home with money.

It is unclear how many Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine so far. The Russian Ministry of Defense gives little information on this. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted “significant losses” in April: “It’s a huge tragedy for us.” The British government last spoke of 15,000 Russian soldiers killed in mid-May. The Ukrainian medium “The Kyiv Independent” puts Russian losses at more than 38,000 soldiers, citing the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Sources: Francis Scarr on Twitter / Interfax / “The Kyiv Independent”