At the same time, according to UK Ministry of Defence post on Twitter, as Russia continues to suffer extremely heavy casualties, the impact varies dramatically across Russia’s regions. In proportion to the size of their population, the richest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg have been left relatively unscathed.
This is especially true for the families of the country’s elite.
On 21 February 2023, Russian senior officials were photographed making up the front two rows of the audience of President Putin’s state of the nation speech. None of these are known to have children serving in the military.
In many of the Eastern regions, deaths are likely running, as a percentage of population, at a rate 30+ times higher than in Moscow. In places, ethnic minorities take the biggest hit; in Astrakhan some 75% of casualties come from the minority Kazakh and Tartar populations.
As the Russian MoD seeks to address its continued deficit of combat personnel, insulating the better-off and more influential elements of Russian society will highly likely remain a major consideration.
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