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Ukraine retrieves bodies of 77 fallen soldiers

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 26, 2024 4:25 PM 2 min read
People walk along an alley of graves of Ukrainian soldiers at Lukianivskyi cemetery in Kyiv, Ukraine on Oct. 28, 2023. (Valentyna Polishchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The bodies of 77 fallen Ukrainian soldiers were returned to the Ukraine-controlled territory on Jan. 26, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of the Prisoners of War reported.

The Geneva Conventions dictate that people who lost their lives during war are entitled to a dignified burial. The bodies of around 2,000 soldiers have been repatriated to Ukraine in the last two years, according to the headquarters.

“Preparation work for the repatriation event was carried out for a long time,” the headquarters said on Telegram, thanking the International Committee of the Red Cross for assistance.

The retrieval was carried out in coordination with the Security Service of Ukraine, the Interior Ministry, the Armed Forces, emergency services, and other state structures.

The bodies of Ukrainian soldiers will be transported to specialized state institutions for forensic examination and identification. Afterward, they will be handed over to their relatives for the funeral.

In the previous transfer on Dec. 22, the headquarters reported that the bodies of 66 fallen Ukrainian soldiers had been returned for burial.

Ukraine has not disclosed how many soldiers were killed in Russia’s full-scale invasion. Former Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said in July 2022 that this information would remain secret until the end of martial law.

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