At a press conference on 30 May, acting governor Alexander Avdeev answered a question from Sergei Golovinov, editor-in-chief of Zebra-TV, as to why the official authorities did not disclose information about the people of Vladimir who had been killed or injured during the special operation in Ukraine.
Alexander Avdeev expressed confidence that this data would now be used by the “enemies,” so that it would be publicly disseminated only after the actions of the Russian troops were over. The Acting Governor did not cover the question of who the media should turn to for information that is not yet secret. Alexander Avdeev explained that altogether more than twenty people from Vladimir died in Ukraine. Information about them is posted on the official “VKontakte” subpages of the regional administrations. Usually, publications contain a dry biographical summary, date of death and information about awards.
ProVladimir publishes questions from the journalist and Alexander Avdeev’s answer in full:
Zebra-TV: Why is there such a situation in the Vladimir region that information about residents of the region who died during the military operation in Ukraine has to be scratched out by almost illegal means. The data varies, and there is a lot of gossip. Somewhere there is almost talk of mass graves. Do you know how many residents of Vladimir region were killed?
Alexander Avdeev: In general, this is not DSP information (information with restricted access, “for official use”), but the information that [is] available in the complex international political situation, you should not “peddle” it like this and twist some facts. Because it is one thing to pay honors and tribute to the dead, and that is what we are doing. We have made decisions about payments for the dead and wounded. It’s another thing to heat up the mood of the people on this topic. To give a reason, let’s be honest, and our enemies, well certainly not our friends, to interpret this information in some way. This is not the kind of information on which to make a hype.
There are dead people. We have great respect for those who really laid their heads. There are over twenty of them. And each family is entitled to benefits and care and help for their children. But I am not going to replicate this information and I do not recommend it to you.
Zebra-TV: They died, and God be with them?
Alexander Avdeev: I told you, all honors – everything is given. I’m not going to stir up any sentiments that have no transparent goals.
Zebra-TV: Who is responsible for distributing this information? Who can you take it from? Is it the Defense Ministry, the municipality, military enlistment offices, or the governor?
Alexander Avdeev: What purposes do you need it for?
Zebra-TV: Actually, these are our citizens. These are countrymen, not yours yet. Why shouldn’t we talk about it. People are being killed. Should we keep silent about this?
Alexander Avdeev: What should we do about it? What are you going to do with this information?
Zebra-TV: What is the purpose of the memorial?
Alexander Avdeev: Absolutely. All the names will be immortalized. People are doing their heroic duty to the country.
Zebra-TV: And there’s no need to know about it.
Alexander Avdeev: All will be evaluated when necessary. An investigation of everyone, and of those who inflate their own ratings by propagating this information and stirring up tension. Believe me, I’m not picking on you. It’s just not a topic on which to make a mass online outburst.
Zebra-TV: There is information about the sponsored districts.
Alexander Avdeev: The city of Dokuchayevsk. Here is Sergei Poluzin, we are providing assistance, we will have humanitarian aid, we will send technical specialists there. The city was partially destroyed. We will restore the communal system to prepare for winter. The social system, schools, we will help. The volume and regularity should be estimated. The advance team is just leaving, no one has gone there yet, we need to go and see. Some cities, like Mariupol, are heavily destroyed. Mariupol is assigned to Moscow, St. Petersburg and so on. Dokuchayevsk has 37,000 inhabitants. We will help as much as we can and according to the needs there. Because not everything works there yet and not everything is needed. Someone is in evacuation, someone is at war.
Again. I’m not being offensive. The request is very carefully. Don’t be on such a nerve to demand that everything be revealed. From the series of where the troops stand, where served, where died, and why died, why the commander was not punished. That’s how it starts. You and I out of the best occasions want to betray the importance. And someone uses it for other purposes. Why should we give food to those who use it for other purposes.
A line from the audience: People should know the truth, I guess.