Reaction in the pro-government Russian press to the capture of the two Russian Special Forces officers in Ukraine has been very limited, according to Ivan Yakovina, a Russian Journalist and Editor at Novoye Vremya.
However, the few remaining independent media outlets have been extensively reporting the incident and they say that the biggest problem for the Russian government right now is the waning loyalty of the Russian army, said Yakovina. The Russian military are reportedly very unhappy with the situation.
Yakovina told Hromadske that Russian soldiers have gone to Ukraine to fight for different reasons. Some have gone because they know they will receive double pay, for others it is an adventure but for most of they go because they were given orders. Yakovina gave the example of the Russian tank driver who was captured in August, 2014 who had no real idea what Ukraine was before he fought there. Yakovina estimates that around 300-400 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine although he could not be certain.
According to Yakovina, the recent Nemtsov Report on Russia’s involvement in Ukraine will not change anything in Russia. The authorities will make it very difficult to publish the report and many of those the report is targeting do not use the internet. Rather the report will have a larger impact on an international audience.
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with Ivan Yakovina on May 24, 2015.