13:22 22 May 2024

Russia deliberately hinders the return of fallen Ukrainian defenders' bodies

Photo: Coordination Headquarters

The Russian side is deliberately delaying the repatriation of the bodies of the fallen Ukrainian defenders.

The Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War reported this on Telegram.

"All our calls to return the defenders' bodies to Ukraine are ignored by the Russian side. An example of this is the Russian side's groundless refusal to carry out another repatriation of the remains of the fallen defenders," the message reads.

The issue of returning the bodies of war prisoners, who, according to the Russian perspective, passed away in the Il76 plane crash in late January 2024, is still unresolved. The Russian side is once again delaying the potential repatriation.

"The return of bodies for burial by family and friends is a humanitarian mission inherent in most conflicts. However, even in these situations, there is still an element of artificial barriers and politicization. Interestingly, even Russia refuses to relinquish the remains of its soldiers in the pursuit of peace," the Coordination Headquarters noted.

The Coordination Headquarters assured that they are doing everything for the return of the fallen heroes.

"At the same time, we call on the Russian side to remember universal human values. Take the bodies of your soldiers and give them to their relatives for a proper burial," the Coordination Headquarters emphasized.

As Rubryka reported, more than 52,000 Ukrainians, including 3,676 children, have gone missing since the start of the full-scale invasion of Russia.

For reference:

Last time, on April 26, Ukraine returned the bodies of another 140 service members who died in the war. Most of the fallen heroes fought on the Donetsk front.

It should be noted that the ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, said in March that more than 2,800 bodies and body fragments of dead Ukrainian soldiers had already been identified.

It should be noted that since the beginning of the full-scale war, Ukraine and Russia have conducted a series of prisoner-of-war exchanges. Since August 2023, Moscow has frozen the exchange of prisoners with Ukraine.

However, on January 3, the largest exchange of prisoners since the beginning of the full-scale invasion took place between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine managed to bring home 230 defenders.

On January 24, Ukraine and Russia were supposed to hold the 50th exchange of prisoners, but it was interrupted due to the downing of the Il-76 plane near Belgorod.

The Russians claimed that there were dozens of Ukrainian prisoners aboard the plane. However, Ukraine has not confirmed this.

According to Ukraine's intelligence, the disrupted exchange was supposed to be one of the largest during the war.

On February 8, another 100 defenders were released from Russian captivity and returned to Ukraine. Those heading home included border guards, national guardsmen, and members of the Ukrainian armed forces.

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