Pro-Russian militia eastern Ukraine
A Pro-Russian separatist stands near a damaged war memorial at Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of DonetskReuters

If you want an idea about the way Russia has approached its incursion into Ukraine, you need only look at the way it has taken care of its soldiers when they die.

It is claimed that rather than giving these troops a proper burial, many bodies have simply been tossed into the freshly-dug ground, without any designation of name, surname or home region. Others have been piled into refrigerators on board huge trucks, and spirited away in the middle of the night, without honours or proper coffins.

Local sources suggest 15 trucks filled with the bodies of dead Russian soldiers crossed the border on 1 September, heading in the direction of Rostov. According to one prominent politician, Olga Vasilyeva, "there are corpses of Russian soldiers inside, piled one on another. The amount of them varies according to different sources: from 800 to 1000. Where are they taken – it's unknown."

It has been claimed that Russia has deliberately withheld news of its casualties from the general public, as it attempts to keep negative publicity about the Ukraine incursion to a minimum.

A spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine says: "In the city of Krasny Luch the local authorities received instructions from representatives of the Russian Armed Forces to allocate land for the funeral of dead Russian soldiers and avoid unwanted disclosure at home".

Nevertheless, thanks to today's technologies, it is impossible to avoid the news of hundreds of dead people. Russian families have created a website, http://lostivan.ru/, where they are trying to find their friends and relatives. The number of photos on this site is huge.

The Committee of Russian Soldiers' Mothers has also intervened, claiming it is too late to hide information from their citizens. They are right – the rest of the world has long understood the true nature of Russia's offensive. In fact it seems the Russian people themselves are the last to know.