Russian Ministry of Labor Quietly Requested 230,000 Death Certificates For Ukraine War Veterans

Russia’s Ministry of Labor has requested 230,000 death certificates for family members of deceased combat veterans and over 750,000 certificates for combat deployment, which is several times more than before (such documents are to certify that a person took part in combat, reported Russian media outlet Vyorstka.

Journalists who examined documents on the Russian government procurement website discovered that Russia’s Labor Ministry has ordered 230,000 certificates for “family members of deceased war veterans, the government website described Ukraine invasion as “the Great Patriotic War and combat veterans”, as well as 757,305 combat veteran certificates, worth over RUB79 million ($817,411) in total.

Russia never publicly acknowledges the number of deaths in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine, but the Russian Ministry of Labor requests death certificates for war veterans in Syria, and now the Ministry of Labor has requested 230,000 death certificates for Ukraine war veterans.

An official document seen by Reuters shows that 273,000 Russian citizens died in Ukraine in the sixteen months of the war, a number that relatives, friends, and local officials say included private military contractors, the Wagner Group.

A death certificate of Russian private military contractor Sergei Poddubniy number 131 reading he died in Tiyas, Homs province, of “carbonization of the body” on September 28, which was issued by the Russian consulate in Syria, is pictured in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia October 21, 2017. Picture taken October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Maria Tsvetkova

The procurement tender foresees that 200,000 certificates for family members of deceased soldiers will be distributed to Russia’s Ministry of Defense and 30,000 to the Ministry of Social Protection. Moreover, the Defense Ministry plans to distribute 600,000 printed combatant certificates: 86,805 to the Ministry of Social Protection, 60,000 to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 10,000 to the National Guard, and 500,000 to the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities.

“This is several times more than before. In December 2022, the Labor Ministry ordered almost 100,000 certificates for combat veterans to be printed, and over 23,000 certificates for family members of the deceased, reported Russian media Vyorstka.

Last summer, the Labour Ministry signed a contract for the printing of over 82,000 blank combat veteran certificates and nearly 6,000 certificates for family members of deceased soldiers.”

Vyorstka reports that in total, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Labor has ordered 936,052 certificates for combat veterans. Since June 2023, 230,000 certificates for family members of deceased soldiers have been issued to families of military divisions as well as to the families of regular army soldiers.

Information from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as of 18 September confirms that nearly 272,940 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine.

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