Without any concrete, independently verified figure to rely upon to tell the public how much Russian troops had been lost in a month’s worth of fighting in Ukraine, many clues lie between the narratives of war that may just give us a sneak peek of the Russian casualties. Just a few days ago, it was reported that Russia’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), had asked their government for more funding.

You would think that the additional funding was for more intel collecting in Ukraine or possibly for more supplies for their troops in Ukraine, but no. Apparently, the FSB had requested money from their government as the fund for their troops’ funeral services were running low.

This would indicate that they needed more funding to give their troops the proper, bare-minimum funeral, which can lead to the conclusion that so many Russian forces have been dying that they are scraping the bottom of their funding barrel. It is also the case that the ruble had been suffering from an accelerated inflation rate of 17.5% because of the sanctions levied on the country.

According to a report by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, they found a series of Russian public documents that prove the request was indeed legitimate. These documents showed that the FSB had asked for a 17% increase in funding to organize funeral arrangements.

The BBC Russian Service, which was the first to report on the documents, discovered that the Russian government currently spends 28,178 rubles or $350 for a soldier’s funeral services in Moscow and St. Petersburg. If the funeral were to be held in any other part of the country, the fee would be 20,350 rubles or $250.

Apparently, they had requested various increases with regard to different aspects of the funeral. The FSB requested that the overall fee for the funeral services have an increase somewhere between 4,800 rubles or $59 to 6,000 rubles or $73. This increase was because of tombstone purchases. The amount spent with the increases is expected to be raised somewhere between 56,400 rubles to 74,200 rubles depending on the deceased’s rank.

These numbers are not expected to go down soon because of the sanctions levied on Russia. Virtually all goods have risen in price since the implementation of the sanctions. This would include a core component of funerals, which is flowers. According to Radio Free Europe, the prices for imported flowers in Russia rose 40% to 200% in March, making these flowers extremely expensive for funerals.

A group of dead Russian soldiers in Ukraine who have yet to be picked up by Russian forces. Their funerals are yet to be arranged (AFU StratCom). Source: https://www.facebook.com/AFUStratCom/posts/353897406778913
A group of dead Russian soldiers in Ukraine have yet to be picked up by Russian forces. Their funerals are yet to be arranged (AFU StratCom/Facebook).

This report comes after the Kremlin admitted last week that they had suffered significant losses due to the invasion. In an interview with Sky News, Russia’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that “We have significant losses of troops, and it’s a huge tragedy for us.”