Ukraine: Russia 'refusing to reclaim bodies of killed soldiers'
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Colonel Voloydmir Liamzin of the Ukraine Army alleged that Ukraine has treated “their dead enemies better than how Russians treated Ukrainian civilians”. The comments follow the release of footage that shows deceased Russian soldiers piled up in train carriages in body bags. Colonel Liamzin said that Ukraine “will keep [the bodies] for as long as needs be” as the war continues to wage on in the eastern regions of the nation.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Colonel Liamzin said: “Ukraine treats their dead enemies better than how Russians treated civilians.
“[The bodies] will be kept for as long as needs be. The Government will decide because Russia refuses to take them.
“It doesn’t want them. Each body is proof of a war crime, so if they refuse to take them Ukraine will bury them at our own cost.”
The Al Jazeera team had just been handed rare access to the deceased Russian soldiers abandoned by their own forces.
The video shows dozens of soldiers piled on top of each other in a train carriage.
The soldiers, some of whom never made it out of their teenage years, are wrapped in white body bags.
The footage was released on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin led Victory Day celebrations in Moscow and across the country.
The nation was rejoicing in its largest public holiday, paying tribute to the Soviet Union forces that defeated Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany in 1945.
Ukrainian estimates suggest that more than 25,000 Russian soldiers have been killed during battle.
The country’s Land Forces claimed a total of 25,500 Russian soldiers have died in the three-month conflict.
They added that Putin’s forces have lost 1130 tanks, 199 planes, 156 helicopters, 509 artillery systems, and 2741 armoured personnel carriers.
The Kremlin, however, has said that figure is closer to around 1,300 personnel and have made no comment on equipment losses.
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The White House on Monday accused Putin of preaching “revisionist history” during his speech for Victory Day.
The Russian autocrat said the West had provoked Russia into retaliation after using NATO to encroach upon their territory.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Putin’s speech was “revisionist history that took the form of disinformation”.
He said: “What we saw President Putin do is give a version of revisionist history that took the form of disinformation that we have seen too commonly as the Russian playbook.”
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