War in Ukraine: in Kharkiv, the thorny question of the fate of the bodies of Russian soldiers killed in combat

Ukraine claims to transfer the remains of Russian soldiers in accordance with international law. If body exchanges took place between the two belligerents, many corpses are waiting to be repatriated.

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In Kharkiv, Ukraine, the bodies of Russian soldiers recovered by the Ukrainians on the battlefield are stored in morgues, but also in trucks or refrigerated train wagons, for lack of space pending their possible transfer to Russia.

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After four months of war, it is difficult to know how many soldiers have died in the fighting: there is currently no really reliable and independent report. Ukrainian forces are losing around 100 men every day, according to kyiv, and Western security sources are now talking about 15,000 to 20,000 Russians killed. And as many remains, recovered by their brothers in arms or by the Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine respects international law in this area, says Pavlo. This officer of the Ukrainian security services deals with the identification of Russian soldiers who died in combat. “We have already identified a part of the bodies, he explains. We continue this work to create a database. Russia has lost many soldiers in Ukraine, but there are still dead that we have not recovered, who remained under the rubble or in the military vehicles that were destroyed, and there is still a lot to be done. ” If there have already been exchanges of bodies between the Russian and Ukrainian armies, many corpses are still waiting to be repatriated to Russia.

“The Ukrainian authorities have demanded from the Russian authorities that they recover the bodies of their soldiers, but so far there has been no response from them. Russia has not made a request to repatriate its dead .”

On the other hand, it is impossible to have reliable figures: whether on the Ukrainian side or on the Russian side, the number of soldiers killed is a sensitive issue which is the subject of a real communication war.

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