Friday, May 29, 2015

Vladimir Putin declares all Russian military deaths state secrets

Russian military vehicles at the Kuzminsky training ground in the Rostov region, about 30 miles from the Russian-Ukrainian border. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

President extends secrecy to deaths in peacetime as well as in official wars, raising concerns for those who report deaths of soldiers in Ukraine

Alec Luhn in Moscow, The Guardian
Thursday 28 May 2015 19.00 EDT

Vladimir Putin has declared that all military deaths will be classified as state secrets not just in times of war but also in peace – a move that activists worry might further discourage the reporting of Russian soldiers’ deaths in Ukraine.

The Russian president has amended a decree to extend the list of state secrets to include information on casualties during special operations when war has not been declared, among other changes. Previously, the list had only forbidden (pdf) “revealing personnel losses in wartime”. He has repeatedly denied any involvement of Russian troops in a pro-Russian rebellion in Ukraine.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that the changes were not connected to the conflict in Ukraine. (TM comment: no, of course not.) Revealing state secrets is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

(Continued here.)

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