Ukrainian soldiers are said to be recovering the bodies of Russian soldiers who died in the war to return them to their loved ones.
Speaking in an interview with The New York Times, a Ukrainian soldier identified only by his call sign, Summer, said he recovered a total of 62 bodies belonging to Russian soldiers. He added that many bodies had been lying on the battlefield for at least a month before being recovered.
Prior to collection, a two-man team from Summer’s unit worked to identify the corpses of Russian soldiers by examining their faces, tattoos, and personal effects. The team also took TAUT samples from the corpses to determine if they were potential war crimes suspects.
Once the corpses were identified, the bodies were then transferred to a refrigerated wagon and would then be returned to their families.
“We collect these bodies for health reasons because the dogs ate them,” Summer said. “Eventually, we will return them to their loved ones.”
There are other refrigerated trains stationed in different regions of Ukraine. There are also several hundred bodies belonging to Russian soldiers stored in facilities outside Kyiv, according to Reuters.
On Monday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said that a total of 30,350 Russian troops have already died in the war, which began on February 24.
The Kremlin rarely updates its death toll. The last time Russia updated casualty figures was in late March, when it claimed 1,351 soldiers had died and 3,825 were injured in the fighting.
Despite the high number of casualties, Ukrainian authorities have complained about the Kremlin’s reluctance to return the remains of its soldiers killed in the war to their families in Russia.
“The Russian authorities do not want these bodies,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in late March, adding that Russia was more concerned with covering its massive losses during the war.
“We have leftovers in refrigerators. We tell them, take them, they are in body bags, we can give them to the Red Cross, send them to the Belarusian border, wherever you want, we will give you these bodies.
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