You better chop wood for coffins

The Russian defense Ministry suddenly attended to immediately purchase as many as 49 thousand Russian flags for the decoration of coffins. Just remember Vladimir Vysotsky:

“He considers the enemy — we are morally weak.
For him and the forest, and the city burned.
You better chop wood for coffins
Are a breakthrough in penal battalions!”

And it will cost only 25 million rubles! However, all funeral services, the Russian military are going to spend much more solid amount of 6.3 billion rubles. However, based on the potential of one of the deceased in 2017, the Russian soldier the sum is not so great — about of 128.6 thousand rubles. The actual amount is even less because of the above mentioned 6.3 billion rubles will be spent on maintaining existing military graves, an installation on all headstones and monuments. However, according to the law “On perpetuation of memory of victims at Fatherland protection” responsibility for the maintenance of military graves in the territory of the Russian Federation is vested in the local authorities, and only on the closed territories of military garrisons for military burials meet the chiefs of these garrisons, i.e. the Ministry of defence. And, by the way, the local government funds are chronically lacking.

The first thing that comes to the mind of the unsophisticated reader, is that the vast majority of funeral flags will be spent for military salute to those who die in Syria or Donbass. And since it is well known that those killed in the South-East of Ukraine the Russian civilian volunteers and soldiers”on leave”, with rare exception, with full military honors buried, and trying to quickly and secretly buried them in mass graves. In Syria, the death toll of Russian servicemen at the maximum estimated only a few dozen people on an annual basis. Thus, one would assume that in 2017 the Ministry of defense is going to put tens of thousands of regular soldiers of the Russian army and most likely in a major war in the Donbass. And the message on pre-purchase “deathly banners” can serve as a stern warning to Ukraine.

However, it is not so simple. First, Russian soldiers are dying not only in combat but also as a result of diseases, accidents, including during the exercise, suicides, and as a result of other non-combat causes. Official statistics of this mortality rate after 2008 is not published. In 2008, according to various estimates, the Russian army from non-combat causes died from 471 to 478 soldiers. NGOs, however, believe that these data are substantially understated. Thus, according to the Fund “mother’s Right”, referring to the end of 2012, annually in the Russian army, from non-combat causes perish and die 2-2,5 thousand soldiers and officers. Even 2.5 thousand deaths from 49 thousand very far. But we must take into account that the Ministry of defense buries not only the soldiers in active military service, but also military retirees and war veterans, among whom there are still veterans of the great Patriotic war. Official data about their mortality, no, but it may be several thousands or even tens of thousands of people a year. Also buried with military honors searchers found the remains of soldiers and commanders of the great Patriotic war. Their number is also in the thousands. However, the vast majority of finds is nameless, and their perezahoranivayut in mass graves. Therefore, the expense of funeral flags for this article — is quite small.

Furthermore, the right to a funeral with the national flag have persons occupying the state posts of the Russian Federation, citizens who have special merits before the state, as well as some other categories of citizens. How many people die each year, is difficult to assess.

More importantly, funeral flags does not necessarily buy it for the calendar year. They are quite unable to acquire a reserve and then fill up as exhaustion. But what is indisputable is the fact that the expenses of the Ministry of defense of Russia at the funeral services from year to year increase. In 2013-2015 for these purposes have enough for 5 billion rubles a year. In 2016, the amount for the funeral expenses increased to 5.9 billion rubles, and in 2017 is expected to grow to 6.3 billion rubles.

It’s hard to say whether this is only due to inflation, or veterans and military pensioners began to die more often or in the dynamics of the rising cost of funeral services had to factor in losses in Syria and the Donbass. After all, some of the most high-ranking military killed in Donbas could still qualify for the official state funeral. So far, only known that in 2013-2016 the Ministry of defence of Russia spent 53,2 million rubles for reimbursement of funeral costs over a thousand active military personnel and citizens, passing military gathering. According to human rights groups, the number of soldiers dying every year in peacetime, reduced several times. However, it is possible that not all the dead soldiers received a funeral with the flag. It turns out that on average, one soldier funeral services are about 53 thousand rubles. Assuming that the entire increase in costs for funeral services in 2017 400 million. roubles will be used only for the funeral of the soldiers of the army (in reality, of course, is not the case), this amount may be enough for a funeral about 8 thousand soldiers. And the increase in 2016 would cover the cost of a funeral is about 18 thousand troops.

However, the vast majority of victims in the Donbas separatists is not soldiers of the Russian regular army (albeit declared mythical “vacationers”), and armed volunteers from Russia among the civilian population. They state flags at funerals are not supposed to. And the loss of these volunteers is extremely high. As found by the Russian researcher Tatiana Kolosova, in the Krasnoyarsk territory since may 2014, and in the Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod regions from March 2015 until the end of 2016, observed an unexplained increase in mortality from external (unnatural) causes — homicides, suicides, accidents, only 6 thousand 312 people.

A giant figure! If we assume, for example, that the entire increase is obtained at the expense of killing, you have to assume that in each region there was a gang of maniacs, kill on average 1-2 people per day in each of the areas. Most likely, in these regions the loss of the Donbass were particularly large (average 2.1 thousand people in the region), why they are recorded in the mortality rate from unnatural causes. In the remaining 81 Russian region of them down on unnatural causes. And if 81 the region has on average killed in the Donbass at least 210 people, an order of magnitude smaller than in the regions from the record, the total losses of Russians in the Donbas will be over 23 thousand people.

If you are entering in the Donbass large numbers of the Russian army and began a major war with Ukraine is only the regular troops, given the present scale of losses and the level of combat readiness of the Ukrainian troops, the requested number of flags is clearly not enough. Maybe in Moscow think about the “small victorious war” with Belarus?