• Ukrainians volunteers are posting information about dead Russian soldiers on social media
  • Many Russian families learned about the deaths of their loved ones from online posts
  • More than 31,000 Russian soldiers have died in the war, says Ukraine

Many Ukrainians are helping the families of Russian soldiers who were killed in the war in Ukraine find information about their loved ones as the Kremlin remains mum on its death toll.

Relatives of Russian soldier Amir Shaikenov recently learned about his death after coming across his photo on social media. Shaikenov, who was part of Russia’s 76th Air Assault Division, was killed in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. His photo was taken by Ukrainian officials and volunteers after his death.

"There were hopes that this photo was a fake and everything was a lie," Shaikenov’s brother Kayrat wrote in a post on social media platform VKontakte wherein he confirmed Shaikenov’s death. "Hope was shrinking with each passing day as we got more and more [details] confirming the death of the soldier."

Shaikenov’s family is one of the many Russian families who learned about the deaths of their loved ones from posts published online. Many posts are deliberately made by Ukrainian volunteers who aim to spread information about Russia’s military losses amid the invasion. Most posts are published on Vkontakte and messaging app Telegram, according to The Moscow Times.

Russia has not been forthcoming about its military death toll in Ukraine. The last time the Kremlin updated the figures was on March 25. At the time, it said 1,351 soldiers and officers had died in what Moscow described as a "special military operation" to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has refused to release official information about its death toll. A Russian court also recently banned the publication of information on the Russian military death toll in Ukraine, arguing that revealing the Kremlin’s losses can be classified as revealing military secrets.

According to a tally by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, 31,500 Russian soldiers had been killed as of Monday.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky also noted that, on average, Russia is losing 300 soldiers per day.

"Since February 24, Russia has been paying for a completely stupid war against Ukraine with almost 300 lives of its soldiers every day. The day will come when even for Russia the number of losses will cross the acceptable limit," Zelensky said, adding that they hear Russia troops panicking in intercepted communications.

Russia's onslaught has wrought has destruction in Ukraine since the February 24 invasion
Russia's onslaught has wrought has destruction in Ukraine since the February 24 invasion AFP / ARIS MESSINIS