Putin to lose 30,000 men as Russian bodies left piling up in Ukrainian refrigerated trains

Ukrainian military store Russian bodies in refrigerated trains

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In an update this morning, the Ukrainian ministry of defence said that since the invasion began nearly three months ago, its armed forces have killed 29,000 troops. More than 250 of those are currently being stored near Kyiv, and Ukrainian officials have blasted Russia for ignoring offers to return the bodies.

It claims it is preserving the bodies of the dead troops according to international humanitarian law.

At the same time, Russian troops have been accused of committing various and widespread war crimes, including rape and murder of innocent civilians.

Earlier today (Monday), the first Russian soldier accused of a war crime for shooting a 62-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison by a Ukrainian court.

Alexander Kamyshin, chief of Ukraine’s railway network, said: “We treat dead Russians better than they treat live Ukrainians. Just another thing that makes us different.”

He also shared footage this week showing the bodies piling up in the refrigerated units.

The video said that Ukraine hopes to release the bodies to “mothers and wives”, but that “Russian commanders do not seek to return [the] bodies”.

It shows people dressed in protective suits and lifting body bags into the trains.

The footage also showed the tattered identifying patches and cards that belong to Russian soldiers.

In the video, Colonel Volodymyr Lyamzin says: “They took the documents from the people and sent them to a combat operation.

“They were killed in action; that’s the usual fate of the occupiers. And they ended up in our carriage, without documents.”

He added: “We have to return them [the bodies], and we are ready to return them to the Russian side, instead of preserving them for three months.”

In a taunting, parting shot, the video appealed to Russia directly to collect its “cargo of 200”.

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This has been viewed as a reference to Cargo 200, the Soviet code word for a transportation of military fatalities.

Previously, Colonel Lyamzin told reporters on May 14: “Several hundred bodies of the [Russian] occupiers are kept here. There are several such train stocks on the territory of Ukraine.

“They will be kept here until a decision is made at the interstate level to transfer these bodies. The Ukrainian side is ready to hand them over tomorrow or even today.

“However, there have been no appeals from the Russian side to receive these bodies so far.”

Ukraine has claimed that Russia’s unwillingness to accept the bodies derives from its steadfast refusal to accept the true scale of its losses in an entirely preventable war.

The Kremlin has not given casualty figures since late March, when it claimed 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed in the conflict. Western estimates put the number far higher even then.

Last week, Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, tweeted that “Russia is still not picking up the bodies of its dead soldiers”.

Meanwhile, the video claims that “Russia hides [its] real losses from families to avoid panic and to avoid payment of compensation”.

The UK Ministry of Defence has said that in the first three months of the invasion, Russia has likely hit a similar death toll as its nine-year war in Afghanistan due to poor tactics and “a command approach which is prepared to reinforce failure”.

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