Over 150 Mined Bodies of Ukrainian Militants Found at Azovstal Plant, Russian Military Says
11:04 GMT 31.05.2022 (Updated: 13:47 GMT 31.05.2022)
© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian troops inspecting the Azovstal plant in Mariupol after the surrender of Ukrainian militants have found a van filled with 152 bodies piled up on top of explosives, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday, adding that all bodies will be handed to Kiev.
"During the inspection of the underground facilities in the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol, where the surrendered Nazis of Ukrainian battalion Azov used to shelter, the Russian military discovered a refrigerator van. The van, whose cooling system was off, contained 152 bodies of Ukrainian militants and army soldiers," Konashenkov told a briefing.
On the bottom of the van under the bodies, there were four mines with a cumulative power enough to destroy all of them, Konashenkov said.
Moscow believes that Kiev ordered the Azov leaders to destroy the bodies in order to "save the political reputation of the Kiev regime and Volodymyr Zelensky personally" by eliminating the remains of Ukrainian fighters that otherwise could have been handed over to their relatives and reveal the true number of Ukrainian human loss in the conflict.
Russia will hand over the bodies to the Ukrainian side in the near future, Konashenkov said.
© Sputnik / Alexander MaksimenkoFighters of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion take the oath of allegiance to Ukraine in Sophia Square in Kiev before being sent to Donbass. Members of the Nazi battalion have committed hundreds of war crimes against the population of Donbass over eight years. The Azov flag has an inverted image of the runic symbol “Wolfsangel”, which was used by the Nazis.
Fighters of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion take the oath of allegiance to Ukraine in Sophia Square in Kiev before being sent to Donbass. Members of the Nazi battalion have committed hundreds of war crimes against the population of Donbass over eight years. The Azov flag has an inverted image of the runic symbol “Wolfsangel”, which was used by the Nazis.
© Sputnik / Alexander Maksimenko
The spokesman recalled how the Azov leaders had publicly asked Zelensky before the surrender to receive the bodies of militants who died while holed up at the plant and to bury them in Kiev-controlled territories but received no response.
Mariupol came under the Russian control on 21 April, and the remaining Azov-affiliated Ukrainian radicals sheltered at Azovstal. Russia offered safe exit to all those who agree to surrender and lay down arms. The gradual exodus from Azovstal ended on 20 May, when a total of 2,400 Ukrainian militants surrendered and the plant went under the control of Russian forces.