In Russia, news of death arrives stealthily.
On state television, the war dead are rarely mentioned. The Defense Ministry hasn’t announced a death toll for nearly three months. Lists of hometown casualties published by local websites were declared state secrets.
But through social media, the horrors of war are trickling through. Ukraine, on the social network Telegram, has been publishing images of enemy corpses, hoping to stir dissent in Russia. Photos of devastated Russian positions, like the failed crossing of the Siversky Donets River last month, where at least 400 soldiers died, offer hints of the violence incinerating untold numbers of young men’s lives.
“You stand there, and your tears don’t even flow anymore,” Aleksandr Kononov, whose brother was killed fighting in Mariupol, told The New York Times in April, recalling the dozens of black body bags he had seen lined up on the floor of a warehouse by a military morgue. “There is no more water left in your body.”