Russian Federation (RF) authorities in the occupied city of Kherson are burning the bodies of service personnel killed in action to conceal losses from their relatives at home and the Russian general public, a Thursday, July 7 statement from Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Military Intelligence said.
According to the report, Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) agents operating behind RF lines have found “a large number of charred remains of people…(that are difficult to accurately identify due to significant fire damage.” Law-enforcers monitor the incineration site on Kherson’s outskirts and fire response units are blocked from putting out the fires, the statement said.
The UAF report said occupying authorities burn the bodies to pass them off as the remains of civilians killed in UAF bombardments and disfigured by building fires. Kremlin authorities then list the soldiers as “missing in action”, making it impossible for relatives to repatriate the remains for a funeral, the statement said.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukrainian Minister for Questions of Re-Integration of Temporarily-Occupied Territories, in comments reported by the UNIAN news agency and other major Ukrainian media, said that RF authorities in occupied Ukraine systematically block the transfer of practically all information about Russian war dead with the specific goal of preventing knowledge of the high numbers of soldiers killed in Ukraine to become widely-known in Russia.
“They (RF authorities) don’t make public (war dead numbers), because their losses are very high. It’s tens of thousands (of soldiers). I am positive, I know for a fact, that they are suffering massive losses. Of course, (Russian state) propaganda and institutions responsible for such issues, they don’t let everyone in Russia find out about this,” Vereshchuk said in part.
According to Ukraine Army General Staff (AGS) estimates, as of July 7 RF forces had lost 36,650 officers and men since the Kremlin’s main force invasion of Ukraine began in late February. According to those estimates, RF units committed in Ukraine are losing between 150-500 men killed in combat a day. The number of RF wounded is, reportedly, between two and three times the number of soldiers killed.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in a July 6 analysis said RF units fighting in Ukraine are currently taking an “operational pause”, as they try to rebuild combat units gutted in ultimately successful assaults of the Donbas cities Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
Both the AGS and the pro-Russia Readovka news platform confirmed that, as of July 7, active movement by forces of either side along the line of contact was effectively stopped, but, UAF and RF units were trading artillery fire at multiple locations, particularly in Donbas.
The AGS situation estimate and statements by Ukrainian officials in Luhansk and Donetsk Region said the RF high command appeared to be trying to redeploy units from the southern Mykolaiv-Zaporizhzhia sector, to the Donbas sector, in order to renew attacks against the towns of Bakhmut, Siversk, Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
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