UARU
Ukraine returns bodies of 64 more fallen Azovstal defenders
14 June, 2022

Another exchange of bodies of the dead servicemen took place in the Zaporizhzhya Oblast. Ukraine has returned the bodies of 64 Azovstal defenders for a dignified burial, reported the Ministry of Reintegration.

The exchange was conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, Military Intelligence, the Ministry of Defense, the Security Service of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. The process of returning the other dead Ukrainian servicemen continues.

The previous exchange of bodies of Azovstal defenders took place on June 8, when 58 victims were returned. Earlier, Ukraine returned the bodies of 162 dead defenders, including about 40 Azov defenders.

The press service of the Azov Regiment informed hromadske that the process of identifying the dead will be long and difficult, because in most cases it is necessary to conduct a DNA examination.

Where will the soldiers be buried?

Azov has said that the bodies of the fallen Azovstal defenders (not only Azov warriors) will be buried in the future at the Azovstal Memorial to the Fallen Heroes. It is planned to be built on the slopes of the Dnipro River.

"It will be near the largest flag of Ukraine, next to the Memorial to those killed in World War II. Burial will take place as the bodies of the dead are identified and only with the consent of parents or close relatives," the Regiment explained.

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What about other defenders of Mariupol?

Ukrainian defenders, who defended the Azovstal plant until the last, were taken to the temporarily occupied territories in mid-May and will be exchanged later.

Some defenders were able to get in touch with relatives. The wife of Azov commander Denys Prokopenko, Kateryna, said that the conditions of their detention were satisfactory, but the remand prison was overcrowded and food could be improved.

According to her, there is no report, nor photo or video recording of the conditions of detention from international organizations — there are only photos and videos of the Russian side. The Ukrainian side wants to arrange for the Red Cross to use its resources to improve conditions.