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Donetsk republic hands over 23 bodies of Ukrainian troops killed near Illovaisk

March 05, 2015, 21:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
No officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry attended the procedure, and the bodies were handed over to volunteers
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Liliya Rodionova, a member of the DPR defense ministry’s commission for prisoners of war during the handover

Liliya Rodionova, a member of the DPR defense ministry’s commission for prisoners of war during the handover

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, 5 March. /TASS/. Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) handed over 23 bodies of Ukrainian servicemen killed in combat actions near the town of Illovaisk to Ukraine’s representatives, the Donetsk news agency said on Thursday.

"The bodies have been handed over in line with DPR defense minister Vladimir Kononov’s order," said Liliya Rodionova, a member of the DPR defense ministry’s commission for prisoners of war.

"We hand the bodies over on a unilateral basis," she said. "The Ukrainian side is not bringing our servicemen’s bodies [to the DPR] though the defense ministry and personally Vladimir Kononov filed relevant requests [with the Ukrainian side]."

"We do not exchange bodies," she said adding "We are making attempts to get it to the Ukrainian side that it is a total disgrace to swap bodies - they must be just handed over to the other side."

Along with that, a correspondent of the Donetsk news agency reported from the scene that officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry didn't attend the procedure, and the bodies were handed over to volunteers who would deliver them to Ukraine.

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