Russia has admitted having lost its first GRU military intelligence spy in the war in Ukraine, but is still hiding the loss of ‘thousands’ from those back home.
Captain Alexei Glushchak, 31, from Tyumen, Siberia, died in a massacre in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, but the Russians gave no details of how he was killed.
“Due to the strict secrecy of the military operation, the circumstances of the Tyumen hero’s death have not been disclosed,” it said in a statement.
Photos of the funeral of Father-A Glushchak surfaced in Russia, where he was buried with full military honors from the Guard of Honor.
Captain Alexei Glushchak, a military intelligence officer of Russia’s GRU spy agency, is pictured being cremated
Glushchak was killed fighting near Mariupol, Russian military said, as it admits to losing a GRU officer for the first time
The day the military intelligence officer died, he had spoken to both his wife and mother in Russia, it was revealed.
He called them to congratulate them on International Women’s Day but in the evening of the same day he came to know that they had been killed.
He will be decorated posthumously.
Two elite paratrooper intelligence officers were also killed as the toll worsened for Vladimir Putin’s military.
Georgy Dudorov, deputy commander of the reconnaissance company for the 137th regiment of the 106th Tula Guards Airborne Division, was accepted dead.
Another paratrooper killed was intelligence officer Alexei Aleshko, a graduate of the prestigious Ryazan Guards Higher Airborne School.
His death now coincides with the first expressions of anger and despair at the toll of the coffins returning to Russia.
It is not clear when Gluschach (pictured) died, although it is believed to be in the early stages of the battle.
The exact number of Russian soldiers killed in the fighting is difficult to come by. Ukraine claims 12,000 people have died, but has not updated that figure for several days.
European and US estimates are low – between 2,000 and 6,000 – while Russia has acknowledged only about 500 deaths.
The GRU was behind the poisoning of its former spy Sergei Skripal with Novichok – who had turned up in Britain – in Salisbury.
Moscow has not updated the total number of casualties in the war, and has named only a select few, including several generals.
Many funerals currently visible in the media are for soldiers killed in late February.
It is taking two weeks or more for Russia to return their bodies to relatives, many of whom live thousands of miles from the bloody war zone in the Russian Far East.
The pain is evident in an increasing number of hostile and painful positions.
‘When will this stop, we are seeing the coffin almost daily?’ Said one.
‘Why did we need to send our boys to this hell?’ asked another.
Corporal Danil Novolodsky, 24, senior gunner on the Air Assault Artillery Battery, was also cremated.
Glushchak is depicted lying atop his coffin, along with military awards presented to him, as Russia’s death from 18 days of fighting in Ukraine.
Despite Moscow acknowledging the loss in Ukraine, it is believed to be hiding the deaths of ‘thousands’ from its own people (pictured, Glushchak’s funeral)
He was awarded the Order of Courage under a decree signed by Vladimir Putin.
He was from Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia in Siberia, a predominantly Buddhist region that has suffered a disproportionate number of deaths among Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine.
Before the invasion, thousands of soldiers were sent west on the Trans-Siberian Railway to fight in the ensuing war.
Another funeral from the same area was held for 24-year-old Vladimir Plekhanov, an orphan raised by a surviving foster family.
According to reports, 22-year-old Sagyandik Kudaibergenov from Tyumen was buried with military honours, like a GRU agent.
He was killed in mortar fire while deploying communication equipment across a river.
He was assassinated on 26 February but his last rites took place only on 11 March.