Countless Russian Men Dead, Leaving Families Sad, Frustrated, and Silent
By: Grace Zheng
Russia frequently posts updates on social media of the Ukraine-Russian war, claiming that the war is a success, or the death toll is very low. Russian media, partially written by Vladmir Putin, pretends nothing terrible has happened; everything is okay.
Russia and Ukraine are suffering, and the wrenching grief of many families has seeped through cracks in the bombast of social media. Many Russian (and Ukrainian) men are dying and in dire need of assistance.
According to an article in The Washington Post, Yevgeny Chubarin, 24, informed his mother he was joining the Russian army to fight against Ukraine. “...she cried and begged him not to go. … By May 15, he had an AK-47 and was on his way. The 24-year-old stone-factory worker was killed the next day.”
Chubarin’s death showed how desperate the Russian military is. His mother, Nina Chubarina, thought he wanted to prove himself as a man.
“He knew it was dangerous,” she said in a recent interview. “He was a very brave guy, was not afraid of anything. He was so cheerful and open and so kind.”
The number of soldiers and civilians who have died in this war are a state secret. It is a crime to question the invasion or condemn the military. Independent journalists who “speak to bereaved relatives or cover funerals have been arrested and told that showing such ‘tears and suffering’ is bad for public morale,” an article in The Washington Post says.
There are many families that are terrified to advocate for those who were not pronounced dead, and they don’t have any credible casualty count. This is why media groups are keeping their own tallies. Their amounts are mostly based on confirmed open-source death reports.
Many families are struggling to speak out, but Sergei Dustin of Baltiysk refuses to stay silent. He expressed his fury on Facebook, saying that Russians needed to ask why their sons were dying.
He said, “This whole story just brings sorrow and tragedy for everyone.”