Unidentified remains of bodies of Ukrainian soldiers stored for over 1 year, Health Ministry reveals

Unidentified bodies are stored until a match with a relative is made
Unidentified bodies are stored until a match with a relative is made

About 2-3% of the bodies of dead Ukrainians returned as part of exchanges cannot be identified, said Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin in an interview with Pravda.Life on June 4.

The remains are stored at the level of the Bureau of Forensic Medicine until they are identified, the official said, adding that the remains of 2-3% of the dead Ukrainians cannot be identified.

"And these 2%-3% are the cases when we cannot get the results of DNA examination, or we have received DNA examination from the deceased, but we have no matches," said Kuzin.

“And this means that either there are no relatives or the relatives have not yet submitted DNA.”

Read also: Ukraine returns bodies of 140 fallen defenders

Unidentified bodies are stored until a match with relatives is made, the Ministry of Health representative added. The dead are stored in refrigerated trucks throughout the country, and the identification process is lengthy and can take over one year.

After one year of storage, such bodies are sometimes buried, but the burial of unidentified bodies is carried out in such a way that a reburial permit can be issued promptly if the family is found, Kuzin stated.

"These are not some kind of mass graves where it is impossible to distinguish anything," he said.

“This is a cemetery, but specifically for unidentified persons, to whom we assign a number, and with the permission of the investigating authorities, we can then hand over a body for proper burial.”

The bodies of 212 fallen soldiers were returned to Ukraine on May 31.

Read also: Ukraine returns bodies of 58 more fallen soldiers

As a result of repatriation activities, the bodies of defenders from the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, Luhansk and Kharkiv fronts, as well as from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, were returned.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine