A message saying that three dead soldiers had been transported back to their units in Pechenga was first posted on the Facebook group “Gruz-200 iz Ukrainy v Rossiyu” (Gruz-200 is a code word referring to casualties for transportation) on Wednesday. The information has been confirmed by two different sources at the military hospital in Pechenga and by a soldier in one of the military units in Pechenga, according to web site 7x7.
The bodies arrived in Murmansk Oblast on September 1, human rights activist Yelena Vasilyeva says to Flash Nord. The Officer on duty in Pechenga says to 7x7 that he has not heard about such a transportation.
According to relatives, the military unit 08275 (which is the 200. Motorized infantry brigade, according to the web site Mama soldata) have been sent to field exercises in Rostov Oblast several times this summer, 7x7 writes. The first group – consisting of conscript soldiers and contract personnel, was sent together with armoured vehicles to the southern parts of Russia in early summer. The last group – 300 soldiers – was sent by plane on September 2, sources say to 7x7.
The VKontakte group for relatives of soldiers in military unit 08275 brings no clear information on the situation. Many are complaining that they cannot come in contact with their sons and husbands – others say that this is normal, as it is difficult to make phone calls from the practice range. “Don’t create panic. The guys who were there have all returned safe and sound”, another one writes.
Photos showing armoured vehicles marked with a polar bear driving the M4 highway outside Rostov was published on Twitter on August 12. Northern Fleet vehicles are usually marked with a polar bear, the unit’s emblem.