Putin Confirms National Guards Presence in Ukraine; Announces 5 Million Roubles for the Families of Dead Soldiers

Families of the National Guard servicemen who died during conflict against Ukraine and Syria will get a payment of 5 million roubles ($81,500) as per the decree signed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

The decree states that families of those killed during the "special military operation" in Ukraine's breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk would also receive the payment.

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Russia Stays Mum on Number of Casualties

Since the beginning of the conflict against Ukraine, Kremlin has remained tight lipped about the number of causalities suffered in the special military operation.

The National Guard, also known as Rosgvardia, was created in 2016 by the Russian president to fight terrorism and maintain public order. With the decree it has been confirmed that members of National Guard, which reports directly to Putin, was involved in the Ukrainian invasion and are among the casualties.

Despite Ukraine pegging the total number of Russian casualties over 20,000, the Kremlin hasn't updated its list since March. On 25th March, the Russian defence ministry said 1,351 troops had been killed in Ukraine.

115 Russian National Guards Sacked

The Guardian reported that following their refusal to fight against Ukraine, Russia has sacked 115 members of its National Guard.

The outlet reported that the soldiers had approached the court challenging their collective sacking. However, the lawsuit was dismissed by the judge. The appeal was held in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian republic in the Russian Caucasus.

As per the court's decision, the judge dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that the soldiers were rightfully fired for "refusing to perform an official assignment" to fight in Ukraine and instead returned to a duty station.

Andrei Sabinin, the lawyer who represented the 115 soldiers, was quoted by the outlet claiming that the court's decision was "unprecedentedly quick" given the complexity of the case.

"I express doubts about the fairness of the process as a whole because my clients were denied to call up certain witnesses and several documents were rejected by the court," Sabinin said. It was also revealed that prior to their dismissal, the commanders of the Rosgvardia unit offered the soldiers the option not to fight.