“They were stored in a container with no longer functioning refrigeration,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.
On Tuesday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced that his troops found 152 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol.
“They were stored in a container with no longer functioning refrigeration,” he said, adding that Russian sappers found mines placed under the corpses with "explosives capable of destroying all the bodies."
By exploding these mines, the Ukrainian forces probably sought to blame the Russians for the "deliberate" disposal of the corpses and to prevent the delivery of the dead to their relatives. The Russian forces, however, will soon hand over these bodies to Ukrainian representatives.
On May 20, Russia announced the complete surrender of 531 Ukrainian fighters still holed up in the Azovstal. Until that date, 2,439 Ukrainian fighters, mostly members of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, had surrendered to Russian troops.
1️⃣ Former Commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Sergey "Volyn" Volynsky about the neo-Nazis and the retreat to Azovstal:— ���� Эсса Али �� Essa Ali ���� (@ESSA_A1I) May 31, 2022
The Russian Federation had superiority in aviation, artillery, armored vehicles, tanks and manpower. pic.twitter.com/xHYwwmJSSX
On Tuesday, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said the trial of the surrendered Ukrainian fighters will begin "in the near future."
For this, a court will be constituted with the participation of international organizations and representatives of other countries. Among these could even be representatives of Western nations.
Some of the Azovstal fighters could be sentenced to the "maximum penalty" for "rape, torture and murder of civilians," he said. Earlier, a Donetsk militia spokesman warned that members of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion could receive the death penalty.