Vasilyeva is currently in Ukraine searching for the burials of Russian soldiers.
"I correspond with a large numbers of mothers who lost children. Their first reaction is, naturally, that of a shock. They are being convinced that there is no war, and suddenly they get a "cargo 200" (code name for casualties) at their doors. "They say that they receive death notices, which state that their sons died of a stroke, injuries, heart attack, a suicide. The notices state that the boys died 150 km away from Rostov," the human rights activist says.
According to her, the Russians who died in Ukraine are buried without honors. Some are buried in secret, at night time.
The relatives are prohibited to complain and express condolences.
"Of the 4,500 deceased, which we know about, only 300 are buried - that is, those that have "reached" their parents," Vasilyeva said. Elena Vasilieva frequently finds Russian servicemen buried in unmarked graves in the ATO area, whose families are still being told that they are participating in military exercises.