1,500 bodies exhumed from LPR makeshift graves in 2023

Military&Defence  Society 

The field team of the Interdepartmental Group on the search for burial sites of Ukrainian aggression victims, identification and perpetuation of their memory (MRG) has retrieved the bodies of more than 1,500 people from makeshift graves in the Lugansk People’s Republic since the beginning of this year, said MRG Head Anna Soroka.  

“There were 840 civilians and 260 servicemen from our Republic and Russia among the exhumed bodies,” Soroka said adding that the LPR and Ukraine had exchanged killed soldiers ”at certain stages.”

Such exchanges are arranged on a parity basis. The MRG gathers remains of Ukrainian servicemen and works on the geolocations where remains of Russian servicemen or LPR militiamen are found, she said.

The MRG recently found bodies of Kiev servicemen in Popasnaya who were abandoned by their retreating colleagues in the spring of 2022. The bodies will be handed over to Ukraine, Soroka said.

To establish the identity of killed Russian and LPR fighters, the MRG closely cooperates with Russia’s Investigative Committee, military units and the Committee of Families of Servicemen.

The LPR repeatedly handed over the bodies of killed servicemen to Ukraine as part of humanitarian exchanges.

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Investigative Committee (SK) officers jointly with forensic experts retrieved the remains of 171 victims from makeshift graves in the Lugansk People’s Republic over one week in June 2023. The identities of 132 of them have already been established.

The MRG, together with activists of the social organization “We Won’t Forget, Won’t Forgive” exhumed the remains of about 100 civilians from March through early May 2023, who were killed in Ukrainian artillery strikes in the Severodonetsk area last year.

Soroka said that the MRG exhumed the remains of 500 people in the Severodonetsk area in the period from August through December 2022.

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The Ukrainian government launched the so-called anti-terrorist operation against Donbass in April 2014.  The peace talks failed to reach tangible results due to Kiev’s position to settle the conflict by force.

President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation  on February 24, 2022 to protect Donbass residents from Ukrainian aggression. Prior to that, LPR and DPR Heads Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin asked the Russian leader to provide military assistance.*i*sb

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