Putin abandons bodies of 'cannon fodder' conscripts in Ukraine – Russia 'unwilling' to act

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Ukrainian operatives have been forced to collect and store the corpses of dead Russian conscripts as Vladimir Putin has made no provision to return the bodies to Russia. Reporters from Ukraine have described the “grim” scenes in the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as towns are littered with the abandoned bodies of Russian soldiers. The corpses of Putin’s fighters have been left to rot as the Kremlin appears “unwilling” to transport the dead troops back to Russia for burial.

As a consequence, Ukrainian authorities have been forced to recover deceased Russian soldiers and place the bodies in huge refrigerators on trains, creating “mobile morgues” to store the dead.

Speaking on the BBC’s Ukrainecast, reporter Lewis Goodall said: “Weeks after Russian forces failed to seize the capital, the bodies of Russian troops are now being discovered in the villages they passed through or occupied around the city.”

Putin’s attempt to capture Kyiv ended in failure as, despite successfully occupying surrounding areas, Russian military forces were forced to withdraw to the east of Ukraine where the war effort was refocused on annexing the Donbas region.

Mr Goodall continued: “It’s the grim reality of war, of course, that thousands upon thousands of bodies are left behind. 

“The problem here is that Ukraine says Russia is showing little interest in actually getting them back.”

Speaking of the emerging dilemma, an unidentified Ukrainian interviewee said: “The bodies that we have found show that they treat their people as rubbish, as cannon fodder.

“They don’t need their soldiers, they throw them here, retreat, and leave the bodies.”

Reports from Ukraine suggest that Russian fatalities of the war have been abandoned by military leaders and Russian authorities.

Read more: Putin humiliated following ‘huge losses of elite units’

Senior journalist Vitaly Shevchenko, who is himself Ukrainian, added: “It’s clearly something that Ukrainians could do without.”

He stressed that the Kremlin’s failure to collect and bury deceased Russian soldiers had placed an additional strain on Ukrainian authorities as they are forced to facilitate the removal and storage of the bodies.

He continued: “What amazes me is frequent reports about Ukrainians collecting those bodies, storing them in huge railway refrigerators but, apparently, Russia is unwilling to take them back.”

According to data from the UK Ministry of Defence, 15,000 Russian troops have been killed in the invasion of Ukraine as of late April. 



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