AFP
Wire Service
4 minute read
27 Feb 2022
1:47 pm

Ukraine launches website for Russians to find killed soldiers

AFP

The site contains pictures of the documents and corpses of Russian soldiers Ukraine said had been killed since Putin launched the attack.  

Picture: iStock

Ukrainian authorities on Sunday launched a website to help Russian families track down soldiers who have been killed or captured fighting in Moscow’s invasion of the pro-Western country. 

The site — 200rf.com — contains pictures of the documents and corpses of Russian soldiers Ukraine said had been killed since President Vladimir Putin launched the attack.  

It also has videos of soldiers Ukraine says it has captured. 

“I am talking to you in Russian because this site was created for you,” Viktor Andrusiv, an adviser to the interior minister, said in a video posted on the site.

“I know that many Russians are worried about how and where their children, sons, husbands are and what is happening to them — so we decided to put this online so that each of you could search for your loved one who Putin sent to fight in Ukraine.”

Andrusiv said that over the past three days Ukrainian forces had captured almost 200 Russian soldiers and more than 3,000 Russian troops had died. 

“We have documents, photos and videos of all of these people,” Andrusiv said. 

The name of the site references the well-known term Gruz-200 (Cargo-200) that was used by Soviet military for corpses being flown back from the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. 

Russia’s defence ministry has so far given no details of any military losses in Ukraine since launching a multi-pronged attack Putin called a “special operation” to protect two separatist regions. 

The head of the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov, on Saturday became the first official to report the death of a Russian soldier in Ukraine. 

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He posted a tribute on his official Instagram page, paying homage to an officer he said had been killed during the “special operation to defend Donbas”.

The Kremlin has launched a major propaganda campaign to control coverage of the war in Ukraine and has ordered media to use only Russia’s official versions of events. 

Moscow has long been accused of covering up losses suffered by its forces as they backed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and fought in Syria. 

Lev Shlosberg, a prominent liberal politician, has suggested Russia’s military was using mobile crematoriums to destroy evidence of those killed in Ukraine.

“There is no war. No dead. No tombs. People will just be no more. Forever,” he wrote on his blog.

Portugal to send military equipment to Ukraine

Portugal is to send military equipment to Ukraine, the defence ministry said on Sunday, joining other Western nations in dispatching help to the eastern European country under Russian attack.

Lisbon is to dispatch “vests, helmets, night-vision goggles, grenades and ammunition of various calibres”, the ministry said in a statement in the early hours on Twitter.

“Portugal supports Ukraine, which is defending itself against an unjustified, illegal and unacceptable invasion,” Defence Minister Joao Cravinho said in another tweet.

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva on Saturday told CNN Portugal that Lisbon was “totally open” to welcoming “thousands of Ukrainians” forced to flee their country.

He also said Lisbon had suspended the review of Russia applications for so-called “golden visas”, residency permits given to wealthy foreign investors.

A protest in solidarity with Ukraine is to be held later in the day in the capital Lisbon, after a previous gathering of hundreds of people on Saturday.

Greece on Sunday also said it would send “defence equipment” to Ukraine via Poland, without providing further details of what it would be.

Germany said Saturday its army would transfer 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger-class surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine, in a U-turn from its longstanding policy of banning weapon exports to conflict zones.

The Netherlands, France, Belgium, and the Czech Republic have also pledged various kinds of weaponry, while the United States is providing Ukraine with $350 million in additional military equipment.

Ukraine lodges case against Russia in The Hague

Ukraine has lodged a complaint against Russia at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to get it to halt its invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday.

“Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression,” Zelenskyy declared in a tweet. 

“We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week.

The ICJ, which is based in the Netherlands capital The Hague, does not have a mandate to bring criminal charges against individual Russian leaders behind the four-day-old invasion.

But it is the world’s top court for resolving legal complaints between states over alleged breaches of international law. It is the supreme judicial institution of the United Nations.

The Kremlin has tried to justify its operation to “demilitarise” Ukraine as an attempt to prevent the alleged persecution of the country’s Russian-speaking minority.

But the international community has roundly condemned the invasion as a flagrant breach of international law, and many Ukrainian civilians have volunteered to defend their country.