The Russian government has released little information about those killed while fighting in Ukraine. Some have likened this policy to one used during the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The secrecy may become more difficult to maintain if the death toll grows.

In an effort to break through the wall of secrecy, a website has been set up to help Russian people to find their relatives and friends who joined the rebels in Ukraine and then vanished.

Lost Ivan features photos of Russian soldiers and mercenaries who are known to have died in Ukraine or last seen in Ukrainian territory.