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The price of a Russian soldier’s life depends on where he is from

Families of Russian troops killed in Ukraine receive compensation, however some receive more than others. A soldier’s life is twice as expensive in Moscow as it is in Yekaterinburg. But a family of a Buryat will receive only a third compared to that of a slain Muscovite.

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The federal authorities of Russia are supposed to pay families of Russian soldiers killed during the invasion of Ukraine a lump sum of RUB 7.4 (EUR 126,000). Receiving this kind of compensation may be challenging, as the army frequently lists soldiers that have been killed as MIAs, according to the article “‘Private Pivovarov is on Assignment’: How Russia Hides its Military Casualties” published on April 6 by The Moscow Times. Some families report that what they got was enough for “a coffin and a tombstone”.

The authorities of Russia’s federal subjects (the constituent entities of Russia) have also started to pay out compensation. But this varies in amount, depending on where the fallen soldier came from.

According to Mozhem Obyasnit’, of the 47 of the 83 federal entities (the list is incomplete and does not include occupied Crimea and Sevastopol excluded), seven of them offer a compensation equivalent to EUR 51,000, eight offer EUR 34,000, one EUR 26,000, and 39 just EUR 17,000.

Compensation is also paid out for grievous injuries sustained in combat, but this also varies from EUR 17,000 to half of that.

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Furthermore, these compensations do not directly reflect the economic conditions of each of the federal subjects. The budget of the Sverdlovsk Region for instance has an income that is five times that of the Vladimir Region, yet a soldier’s family from Vladimir will receive twice the amount of a family from Sverdlovsk. And in terms of GDP per capita, Moscow produces four times as much as the economically deprived Buryatia, in southern Siberia, yet the compensation is four times as high. There clearly appears to be neither rhyme nor logic as to how the value of a soldier’s life is priced.

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