In the Donetsk People’s Republic, the first exhumation events are being held as part of the work of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Search for Missing Persons, Burial Places of Bodies (remains) of Deceased (dead) in Areas of the Armed Conflict in Donbass. From 18 August 2021, the search and exhumation group began to recover the remains of the victims of Ukrainian aggression from unmarked graves on the territory of the cemetery of the settlement of Ovsyanoye in the city of Snezhnoye.
Mass graves appeared here in the summer of 2014, when Ukrainian troops shelled the city and its environs. In the conditions of fierce hostilities, it was impossible to document cases of death.
Experts believe that more than 50 civilians are buried in these graves. The recovery of the remains will take place in stages. For the first two days, it is planned to raise about 10 bodies.
It should be noted that the search and exhumation group consists of 5 people. All of them are employees of the Department for Social Support of Retired Servicemen and Patriotic Education under the Head of the DPR, who have undergone special training and have international certificates.
Forensic experts, representatives of the DPR General Prosecutor’s Office and the administration of the city of Snezhnoye are also involved in the exhumation activities.
The exhumed remains will be sent to the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination of the DPR Ministry of Health for DNA examination. In the future, the obtained samples will be compared with the genetic data of the relatives of the missing in the area. The identified remains will be handed over to families for burial.
“In the DPR, work on the search for mass burial places, the identification of the remains of those killed as a result of the armed aggression of Ukraine and the formation of a list of missing persons has been going on since the beginning of the conflict in Donbass. Now this activity has been intensified through the creation of a special Interdepartmental Commission in the Republic. Our goal is to establish the whereabouts of the missing people, which will ease the suffering of their relatives and perpetuate the memory of the victims with honour,” said Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR, Chairperson of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Search for Missing Persons, Burial Places of Bodies (remains) of Deceased (dead) in Areas of the Armed Conflict in Donbass.
The DPR Ombudsman also stressed that since 2014, about 130 burial places of missing persons have been discovered during the search activities on the territory of the DPR. 253 people were found dead. At the moment, the whereabouts of another 354 people are still unknown.
Recall that the Interdepartmental Commission for the Search for Missing Persons, Burial Places of Bodies (remains) of Deceased (dead) in Areas of the Armed Conflict in Donbass was established by the Order of the DPR Head Denis Pushilin on 6 August 2021.