Digging out the dead in eastern Ukraine

A brief lull in violence compels many to call for an effective way to collect the bodies of the dead soldiers.

by

    As the fighting seems to be ending in east Ukraine and the frontlines fall silent, the grim job of tracing all those killed or missing in the fighting is only just beginning.

    Thousands on both sides have been killed in battles such as at Donetsk airport, Debaltseve, and Ilovaisk. But the numbers of corpses retrieved and returned to their bereaved relatives is much smaller.

    In the chaos of the conflict, neither side has definitive figures for the numbers "missing in action".

    Some soldiers may have just deserted, but many of those killed were simply left where they fell.

    At Donetsk airport, nearly four months of bitter fighting has left the whole complex completely shattered.

    Separatist commanders have press-ganged captured Ukrainian soldiers into excavating the bodies of their dead colleagues.

    But there are growing calls for a more humane and effective way of resolving the fate of those who went to fight and never came back.

    The chaotic nature of the fighting in east Ukraine has meant that the bodies of those killed in action have often just been left where they fell [Al Jazeera/Paul Brennan]
    Captured soldiers search through the rubble for the bodies of their dead comrades [Paul Brennan/Al Jazeera]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.