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About 1,000 Ukrainian troopers died in Ilovaisk encirclement in 2014 — investigators

August 26, 2015, 18:47 UTC+3 KIEV
Fierce battles between the Ukrainian military and the militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic were underway near Ilovaisk in the second half of August — early September 2014
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

KIEV, August 26 /TASS/. According to the temporary investigation commission set up to investigate the encirclement of Ukrainian troops near Ilovaisk in August-September 2014, the death toll from the Ilovaisk tragedy has reached a thousand people, Andriy Senchenko, the commission’s head, told a news conference in Kiev on Wednesday.

"Our commission has managed to make only indirect assessment of the losses in all the episodes of the Ilovaisk events. The death toll amounts to 1,000 people," Senchenko said.

"In order to be honest about the losses, every military unit that took part in various stages of the Ilovaisk operation should give an answer to the following questions: how many servicemen died directly on the battlefield; how many troopers died of wounds in hospitals and how many are missing," Senchenko explained.

On August 20, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office announced the names of 366 Ukrainian servicemen and militiamen who died in the so-called "Ilovaisk pocket "(encirclement) in the area of security operation in eastern Ukraine last year.

Earlier, Ukraine’s Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios said the prosecutors had extended the time of investigation into the mass death of Ukrainian troops near Ilovaisk. Matios explained that the investigators were planning to check once again the legality of actions of the Ukrainian armed forces command, including Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, and commanders in various sectors of the security operation.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff noted that a full analytical report on military personnel losses near Ilovaisk in August-September 2014 was expected to be published before the end of August.

Fierce battles between the Ukrainian military and the militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) were underway near Ilovaisk in the second half of August — early September 2014. The Ukrainian troops occupied part of the city, which was then encircled by the DPR militias. The Ukrainian military suffered heavy losses when they tried to break the encirclement on the way out of Ilovaisk — from 400 to 1,000 people, according to various estimates.

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