The loss of life has caused much comment in Kostroma, which lies about 300km north-east of Moscow and has a population of around a quarter of a million. One local website noted last spring that the entire Soviet-Afghan war, lasting nine years, had cost the city 56 soldiers. Heavy losses in Ukraine have given the local authorities a difficult task of political management.
Sergey Sitnikov, Kostroma's Kremlin-appointed governor, has been in the forefront of attempts to convince people that the city's soldiers are being properly supported. Gov Sitnikov's visits to hospitals, barracks, and indeed to the front, have been covered on local TV.
On a visit to the front in December, Gov Sitnikov told viewers that "we need to help [the] guys so they have decent conditions". He had brought with him crowd-funded care packages and commercially sold drones.