The Russian Defense Ministry officially recognized the deaths of regular army servicemen, who deceased in action near Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, in summer 2014. This is mentioned in the article that appeared in Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper, with the title saying 'They were there'.
The article says that four years ago, Russian airborne troops took the plates with the names and numbers on them from the graves of unnamed soldiers in and near Pskov (western Russia). They had their instructions; however, four years after that, these graves now have monuments on them - with portraits, names, ranks, dates of birth and deaths. Some tombstones also include the symbols of airborne troops and lyrics in memoriam, the outlet wrote.
Aleksandr Osipov, Sergei Volkov, and Leonid Kichatkin - these are the names of three servicemen who died in combat in Donbas in July and August 2014.
According to Pskov Military Memorial Company, the Defense Ministry paid for the construction and settlement of the monument on Kichatkin's grave. The funeral bureau said the monument with respective adornments cost about USD 1,500.
'The Defense Ministry's part can implicitly confirm that the authority recognized Kichatkin's action there', Novaya Gazeta wrote.
As we reported, on June 14, Ukrainians paid tribute to the deceased airborne troops. 40 soldiers of the 25th Airborne Brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces lost their lives when Russian militants downed IL-76 transport aircraft over Luhansk airport. In small hours of June 14, 2014, the transport was about to land at Luhansk airport, besieged by the enemy. The militants used a man-portable missile launcher, which killed all aboard, including the mentioned 40 airborne troops and nine crew members. This became the most serious combat loss of the Ukrainian Army since the beginning of the armed conflict in Donbas in April 2014.