The Ukrainian military continues to collect the bodies of slain Russian soldiers in the village of Mala Rohan in the suburbs of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s public broadcaster reported on May 20.
Bodies have been found in wooded copses, gardens, and latrine pits, and some bear signs of falling victim to friendly fire.
Anton Ivannikov, an officer of in the Kharkiv Task Force, found one grave of a buried Russian soldier on the territory of a residential house. Next to the grave itself was a piece of cardboard with the inscription (likely made by locals): “A Russian occupier is buried here – Namchal Artysh Oolovich, July 22, 1998, Tuva Republic”.
Ivannikov extorted both a helmet and a bulletproof vest from the grave, as well as a Russian bank card.
"It's not just the cards that matter to us, it's the things that can help identify the body and affiliation in the Russian Federation," Ivannikov said.
Two more bodies were found down a sewer drain. They had been covered with sand.
These bodies seem to have belonged to tank crewmen – corresponding stripes can be seen on their uniforms. They are removed from a depth of one and a half meters with ropes, which took about an hour. One of the Russians has his hands tied behind his back, and had a gunshot wound to the head. Ivannikov says the invaders could have killed them for attempting desertion or refusing to fight.
The bodies are then loaded in ambulances and taken to a morgue, in order for experts to analyze the remains, note any distinctive features, and to determine the exact cause of death. They also take samples of genetic material for further checking at the request of the Russian side.
After three days of work in Mala Rohan, the Ukrainian military exhumed 12 dead Russian soldiers. Ukraine seeks to exchange the corpses of Rus-sian soldiers for its own dead, and living survivors.