Russian flags, uniforms and helmets emerge from the rotting mud, while flocks of seagulls and packs of stray dogs rummage through the rubbish. The Russian army used the landfill in Kherson to burn the corpses, presumably of their fallen. Guardian newspaper reporters write about it, referring to the statements of local residents.
Ukrainian military intelligence had already claimed in the summer that the Russians were burning their fallen soldiers to hide the real losses.
During the occupation of the Kherson region, Russian army trucks brought piles of black bags to a landfill on the northwestern outskirts of Kherson. According to witnesses interviewed by reporters a few days after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the liberated southern Ukrainian city, the Russians burned the suspicious cargo at a heavily guarded landfill.
“The Russians brought a kamaz full of garbage mixed with corpses and unloaded it. Do you think someone was going to bury them? They threw them out, then dumped garbage on them and that’s it,” said a garbage collector who did not want to be named.
The witness admits that he cannot confirm with certainty whether the bodies belonged to soldiers or civilians. “I didn’t see them. I said enough. I am not afraid, I fought in this war since 2014. I was in Donbass. But the less you know, the better you sleep,” he added, referring to a Ukrainian proverb.
A baton to the face
Residents who lived under occupation for eight months, when the Russian authorities did not tolerate even the slightest hint of dissent, still have not gotten rid of their fear. Svitlana Viktorivna (45), who together with her husband Oleksandr has been bringing waste to the landfill for years, recalls that the Russians set up a checkpoint at the entrance to the site.
“They wouldn’t let us anywhere near that area of the dump where they were burning the bodies,” she says. “I’ll tell you how it was: they came here, left their soldiers on guard, unloaded and burned. One day my husband and I came at the wrong time. We came here when they were doing their ‘things’ and hit my husband hard in the face with a baton,” Svitlana Viktorivna told the Guardian. “I didn’t see the remains,” she added. “They buried everything that was left.”
Locals began to whisper that something suspicious was going on at the dump sometime in late June, when the Ukrainian military received HIMARS systems and with these American long-range salvo rocket launchers opened fire on the bridges over the Dnieper, disrupting the supply lines of Russian troops. The Ukrainians succeeded in liquidating the Russians’ weapons depots and manpower. Residents of the block of flats near the dump say that they could not help but notice what was happening because of the unbearable smell of burnt meat.
“It made me want to throw up when I smelled the smoke. It was horrible because it smelled like burnt hair and it also smelled like a dentist when they drill your tooth before filling it. The smoke was so thick that you couldn’t see the neighboring house,” recalls Olesia Kokorinová (60), who lives on the eighth floor.
They are missing from the dead
The reporters admit that they have not been able to obtain independent confirmation of the information about the cremation. The place where this allegedly happened is located deep inside the landfill area and it is not safe to go there because it may be mined, landfill employees warned journalists.
According to the Guardian, the version about burning the bodies of one’s own soldiers sounds logical. “Many are convinced that this was the easiest way to get rid of the bodies, since the Russians were practically cut off on the west bank of the Dnieper and the bridges were too unstable to support the weight of the trucks,” the newspaper argues.Local authorities have not yet commented on reports of corpses being burned at the landfill. Officials anonymously admit that this question does not bother them too much.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia has already lost 85,000 soldiers since the beginning of the invasion. At the end of September, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu estimated the number of dead on the Russian side at less than 6,000.
Ukraine’s security service believes that the Russian army is disposing of the bodies of thousands of its dead soldiers and registering them as “missing” in an attempt to cover up real losses.
A Russian soldier said in an overheard phone call some time ago that his comrades were buried in a “man-high landfill” near Donetsk. “There are so many costs 200 [vojenský kód pre mŕtvych vojakov], that the mountains of bodies are two meters high,” he mentioned, adding: “It’s not a morgue, but a dump. They just throw them in there. And later it is easier to arrange it as if they disappeared without a trace. It’s easier for them to pretend they’re just missing.’
Source: Pravda – Správy by spravy.pravda.sk.
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