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Putin classifies Russian troop deaths during peacetime a state secret

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By Euronews
Putin classifies Russian troop deaths during peacetime a state secret

<p>Russian President Vladimir Putin has classified deaths of Russian troops in peacetime a state secret. </p> <p>The move comes as Moscow stands accused of sending soldiers to fight in eastern Ukraine.</p> <p>Putin has repeatedly denied any involvement of Russian troops in the region. </p> <p>A <a href="http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/EUFAJ-Special-NemtsovReport-150521.pdf">report initiated by slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and released this month</a> said at least 220 serving Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine last summer and earlier this year.</p> <p>In February Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2015/02/08/ukraine-crisis-poroshenko-appeals-for-support-from-the-west/">held up passports he claimed belonged to Russian troops in Ukraine</a>. </p> <p>“This is the best evidence for the agression and the presence of russian troops,” said Poroshenko.</p> <p>Russia denies intervening directly in the conflict.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Poroshenko shows passports of detained <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Russian?src=hash">#Russian</a> soldiers at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MSC2015?src=hash">#MSC2015</a> – <a href="https://twitter.com/HetmanAndrij"><code>HetmanAndrij</a> <a href="http://t.co/b2yMLarD09">pic.twitter.com/b2yMLarD09</a></p>&mdash; Conflict News (</code>rConflictNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/rConflictNews/status/564088218157862912">February 7, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year after wrestling control over the peninsula by deploying troops with no insignia. Moscow initially vehemently denied they were Russian troops.</p> <p>Putin only admitted Russian soldiers had been deployed in Crimea nearly one month after completing its annexation.</p>