Russia transporting dead at night to hide body count
Fallen Russian soldiers are being sent back Russia in “small packs” on evenings to obscure how many have died in Ukraine, says Ukrainian intelligence
May 4, 2022 8:58am
Updated: May 4, 2022 1:40pm
Fallen Russian soldiers are being sent back Russia in “small packs” on evenings to obscure how many have died in Ukraine, says Ukrainian intelligence.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) shared an intercepted call between Russian troops on its Telegram account Tuesday where two soldiers appear to discuss the transportation of the dead back to their homeland.
The call suggests that Russia is transporting corpses back to Russia in small groups in order to avoid speculation that the army is sustaining massive losses or has stalled in Ukraine.
“They are bringing them in small packs, so that people don’t freak out,” one of the callers is heard saying, said The Daily Beast.
However, this process has delayed the arrival of the dead, leading to the parents and families of the troops to grieve over “half-decomposed cargo of 200” that are sometimes unrecognizable by the time they arrive, according to the SBU.
The SBU said the calls were picked up in the Zaporizhzhia region in south-eastern Ukraine, which is situated by the Dnieper river.
The two also discuss a dead comrade named Makeyevich who had been stuck in the process for six days, and that his wife was getting worried.
“Did you send Makeyevich?”
“They brought him today, according to preliminary information,” the other caller replied.
“They are supposed to identify him today.”
Moscow has been coy about their casualties during the invasion. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense claims to have killed 23,800 Russian troops since the war began, while its Western allies estimate the death toll is closer to 15,000, with two to three times as many injured.
The invading Russians have been communicating on unsecured lines, making them an easy target for Ukrainian intelligence and their allies.
The SBU has leaked recordings of calls before, like one on Apr. 12 where a woman speaking in Russian seems to give her soldier husband permission to rape Ukrainian women.