Russian officials from the Samara region have refused to publish the list of those killed and injured in the New Year’s Day attack in Makiivka.
Alexey Vdovin, military commissar of the Samara region, explained in a local government video that the refusal to reveal victims' names came down to the list likely leading to "provocations actions against relatives of servicemen” by “foreign intelligence agencies."
Vdovin also explained how relatives of servicemen could get up-to-date and reliable information. According to him, military enlistment offices would inform the families personally.
"All information available in military enlistment offices is delivered personally to family members independently or on their request."
According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), the Jan. 1 strike on a complex in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Makiivka killed 400 Russian soldiers. The Russian Defense Ministry puts that number at 89.
Many of those killed in the attack were from the Samara region. Local activists demanded the disclosure of the Makiivka strike victims' names.
The rising death toll is upping pressure on Russia's military leadership, as even pro-Kremlin commentators suggested the real figure could be in the hundreds.
Russia’s defense ministry has announced that a commission is working to establish how so many troops lost their lives and said "guilty" officials would be punished.
To date, Russia has sought to blame the victims for using cell phones against military protocol, which allowed their location to be detected by the AFU.
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