MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The Ukrainian armed forces have taken up the practice of declaring fighters actually killed in action (KIA) to allegedly be missing in action (MIA) as a pretext to avoid removing their bodies from the battlefield and returning them to their families for burial, captured Ukrainian serviceman Andrey Lazarkevich said.
"Some of the guys told me about [fighters] <…> who are classified as "two hundred" (military code for KIA - TASS), that they could remove [their bodies] from the battlefield, but that instead they (Ukrainian commanders - TASS) simply report that they are MIA. That's really messed up, especially if there is a possibility of picking up that person’s body and sending it home [to his family]. Somebody back home is worried about him. There is not much left of the brigades. [In] the 7th brigade, there are [maybe] 10 or 15 people left, and the same is true in the 8th brigade. They sent them all in one bunch here, to these positions," the Russian Defense Ministry quoted Lazarkevich as saying in a video interview.
According to him, in the current situation Ukrainian servicemen prefer to surrender as prisoners of war. "Most young people come to fight. I asked them and they said: 'Well, why should I go to fight in the war when I have a family, a job?' They didn't come here spontaneously of their own volition; they were brought here. Any way you slice it, they will win nothing from this war. It is better to surrender than to lie and rot, knowing that no one will ever come for you," the Ukrainian citizen emphasized.