War losses mount for small Kola towns

By - March 11, 2024 The Independent Barents Observer
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The circumstances of the death of Aleksandr Ivanov is not clear. But according to Telegram channels, he was only 19 years of age and was buried in early February this year.

He became the latest in a group at least six locals killed in Ukraine.

They were all commemorated in a recent event in the local community house. On site were members of the regional parliament Mikhail Pavlov and Irina Prosolenko.

“You raised real heroes,” Prosolenko said in an address aimed at the mothers of the fallen men.

The event included not only cultural performances, but also fundraising for other local men still fighting in Russia’s war of aggression. Among items for sale in the event were chocolate and candy wrapped in paper propagating war and saluting warriors.

 

Candy the patriotic style for sale in Zelenoborsky fundraising event. Photo: screenshot from video

 

More than 100,000 rubles were raised during the event, the local organisers say.

The Barents Observer has the names of five of the killed men from Zelenoborsky. Three of them reportedly served for the Wagner Group.

The small town is located on the White Sea coast and has a population of about 3,500. It is part of the Kandalaksha district, where the number of killed soldiers amount to more than 20.

In the district is located also Alakurtti, the military town that houses the 80th Motorised Rifle Brigade, a unit also referred to as Russia’s Arctic Brigade.

The brigade has soldiers from all over Russia and is believed to have lost several hundred men in the war. In February 2023, the Barents Observer reported about more than 65 soldiers from the brigade killed.

That is believed to be only a portion of the actual number. In the local Alakurtti school, pupils now honour seven killed soldiers, all of them former graduates from the school.

It is not known how many local men from the Kola Peninsula that have been killed. The Barents Observer has the names of 310 soldiers killed. A significant number of them were connected with the two brigades located in the Pechenga district.

The 200th Motorised Rifle Brigade and the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade are believed to have lost up to 80 percent of its capacity after the first year of war.