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Ukraine prepares to send bodies of dead Russian soldiers back home

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By Euronews
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Ukraine's military prepares the bodies of dead Russian soldiers to be returned home
Ukraine's military prepares the bodies of dead Russian soldiers to be returned home   -   Copyright  na

Ukrainian troops are preparing to send the bodies of dead Russian soldiers back across the border. The authorities say they are acting in accordance with international law.

Soldiers' remains have been moved to a facility outside Kyiv before being loaded onto refrigerated trains awaiting transfer. 

The head of Ukraine’s civil-military cooperation department says even though these transfers are part of international protocol, the Kremlin has not appealed for the bodies to be returned.

"Several hundred bodies of the (Russian) occupiers are kept here. There are several such train stocks on the territory of Ukraine. They will be kept here until a decision is made at the interstate level to transfer these bodies. The Ukrainian side is ready to hand them over tomorrow or even today. However, there have been no appeals from the Russian side to receive these bodies so far," said Colonel Volodymyr Lyamzin of the Ukrainian army.

Moscow has allegedly ignored repeated offers for the dead to be returned, while Ukrainian officials say Russia is more concerned with covering up the scale of the losses and is willing to abandon its troops.

The Kremlin claims it always retrieves its dead. However, it has not given casualty figures since late March, when Moscow claimed that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded since the invasion.

According to Western estimates, the Russian military has suffered more casualties in Ukraine in two and a half months than Soviet forces did in Afghanistan during a decade of Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

On Friday the Ukrainian military estimated the number of Russian fatalities to be around 26,900. The figure cannot be confirmed.