SBU: Today 6,000 Russian military personnel and 40,000 militants fight in Donbas

Kyiv, March 15, 2016. More than 1,600 Russian soldiers from 26 Russian military units were killed during the armed conflict in Donbas. The number of Russian “volunteers” is at least twice as big. And this is only the confirmed data. The true figure is much higher, said Oleksandr Tkachuk, Chief of Staff at the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He added that today 6,000 Russian military personnel and about 40,000 militants fight in Donbas. “We appeal to all the mothers, wives and children of those [Russian military] who fights in Donbas: do all in your power so that your people come back home alive as soon as possible. The conscious civil society in Russia should cooperate with Ukrainian activists to end this conflict in the shortest possible time,” said Mr. Tkachuk.

He also said that the Security Service announced suspicion to an employer of the Russian Military Intelligence Renat Biktogirov, known by the nickname of “Starshyna”, who is suspected of creating a network of agents in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lviv and Vinnytsia regions. Suspicion was also announced to a militant nicknamed “Ded (Grandfather)”, who was previously close to Girkin and was detained by the Ukrainian police when he went to the controlled territory for a Ukrainian pension.

According to SBU, the average cost of the food basket is 30% higher on temporarily occupied territories than on the territory controlled by the government of Ukraine. The wages there are 25% less and pensions – 35% less. In addition, the birth rate fell by half, and they record a high level of infants’ mortality.