President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday (6) setting the payment of 5 million rubles (about 393,000 riyals) to the families of Russian National Guard personnel who died in Ukraine and Syria.
The decree represents official recognition that members of the Guard, known as Rosgvardia, are among the victims of the war in Ukraine that Russia describes as a special military operation.
The force, which reports directly to Putin, was created in 2016 to fight terrorism and organized crime and was used locally to suppress peaceful protests against the government.
Western analysts interpret its use from the early stages of the war in Ukraine as a sign of misguided confidence that Russia will quickly seize major cities, including the capital, Kyiv, where Rosgvardia can be used to maintain order.
Indeed, Russian forces were defeated in both Kyiv and the second city of Kharkiv in Ukraine, and are now focused on heavy fighting in the Donbass region in the east of the country.
Putin had already announced compensation plans for the families of the dead and wounded soldiers. Russia has not updated casualty figures since March 25, when it said 1,351 soldiers were killed and 3,825 wounded. Western governments and Ukraine say those numbers are several times higher now.
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