Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 35

The Union of Soldiers’ Mothers announced on September 27 that Russian military and police losses during the second Chechen war are in reality twice as high as the officially released figures. Noting that since March of this year there have been no official reports concerning losses in Chechnya, Valentina Melnikova, the union’s executive secretary, stated during a press conference in Moscow: “According to our sources, the losses [of the armed forces and other security bodies] in Chechnya since August 2, 1999 amount to about 10,500 people, including those who have died of wounds.” A union press release said that this estimate was based on information gathered from regional organizations of soldiers’ mothers, other public groups, and the military forensic medicine center in Rostov-on-Don (Interfax, September 28).