Izvestia, August 28, 2002, p. 3

A human life is priceless. However, it is set out in Russian legislation what compensation should be paid for a soldier’s death.

Military Insurance Office (MIO) spokesman Andrey Kazakov said: “Each close relative gets an insurance payout equivalent to 25 times the minimum monthly wage. Besides, a one-time grant equivalent to 120 times the minimum monthly wage is also provided. It is divided between the near relatives of the deceased,” the representative of the press service of the.

According to him, every family of conscripts who died in the Mi-26 helicopter crahs will get 182,000 rubles. Families of contract soldiers will get about 300,000 rubles, families of the junior officers about 500,000 rubles, and families of senior officers will get 600,000 rubles.

The Russian government doesn’t plan any extra measures concerning the relatives of those killed in the crash last week. But when the Kursk submarine sank, everything was different.

“The state’s so-called concern for the families of the Kursk crew might be more credible if officials cared about the parents of all the soldiers who are killed in Chechnya every day. Those 50 families of the Kursk crew are sure that the authorities wanted to pay compensation,” said Veronika Marchenko, head of the Mothers’ Rights Foundation.

Marchenko went on: “Parents write to us asking why the authorities consider it ‘more honourable’ to die underwater then in a burning tank in Grozny. In addition to the state support, the relatives of the Kursk crew got a lot of money from various charities. The army headquarters of the North Caucasus opened a special account too but the situation with it is different.”

“This happens because a death in the zone of hostilities is a usual thing for people. The sinking of the Kursk during exercises was an extraordinary event for the public,” the psychologist Reynaldo Peres Lovelle thinks.