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MOSCOW, March 27 /TASS/. The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic on Friday handed over 22 bodies of dead troopers to the Ukrainian side, the Donetsk news agency reported.
"Twenty-two bodies as well as fragments of the dead have been handed over to the Ukrainian side. Two trucks will transport them to Dnipropetrovsk," the report said. The handover took place in a Donetsk morgue in the presence of International Red Cross employees.
Volunteers have delivered two unidentified bodies, supposedly of the dead militias, to Donetsk.
"Today we received two unidentified bodies. We hope they belong to our militias," Liliya Rodionova, the head of the DPR’s commission for prisoners of war, said. She noted that Ukraine had hired volunteers to deal with the handover issues while Ukrainian officials preferred to stay away from the process.
Earlier on Friday, Rodionova said that the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) would no longer hand over the bodies of dead troopers to Ukraine unilaterally so long as Kiev did not start a reciprocal process.
"We have sent inquiries to the Ukrainian side requesting it to return the bodies of dead militias to us but we have failed to establish a dialogue so far," the Donetsk news agency quoted Rodionova as saying.
"We have another 20 dead bodies but we are not going to hand them over to the Ukrainian side, no matter how cynical it could be sounding, until Ukrainians do not return the bodies of dead militias to us," Rodionova stressed.