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How Russia depicts wounded soldiers: As heroes, or not at all

·1 min

A shell exploded near a Russian soldier deployed in Bakhmut, Ukraine, resulting in serious injuries. The soldier, identified as Andrei, was a former convict recruited by a private military company. He underwent amputation and spent over a year in hospitals. The number of war wounded in Russia, estimated in the hundreds of thousands, remains undisclosed. The Russian government limits access to hospitals and rehabilitation centers to avoid anti-war movements. Concerns have been raised about Russia’s treatment of its soldiers, with wounded veterans often featured in propaganda while facing systemic neglect. Estimates suggest that amputees make up more than half of the seriously wounded. The Russian Ministry of Defense has not provided updated figures on the wounded, while CIA Director William Burns estimates both dead and wounded soldiers at 315,000. The focus of treatment appears to be on quickly redeploying wounded soldiers to the frontlines, resulting in a lack of medical discharge. Insufficient resources, including medical facilities, beds, and drugs, have been reported, impacting the quality of care. Individualized rehabilitation programs and public support for the injured are also lacking. The stream of wounded soldiers is expected to continue, despite the high casualty rate.