When inspecting underground facilities of Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the Russian military found an isothermal van with a defunct cooling system with 152 bodies of Ukrainian military men inside, Major General Igor Konashenkov, an official representative for the Russian Defense Ministry said.
According to him, some of the bodies had bombs attached to them.
During the inspection of the van, Russian sappers found four bombs underneath the bodies of the Ukrainian servicemen. The amount of explosives was enough to destroy the remains of all the bodies in the van, Konashenkov said.
During the interrogation of the captured Azov* militants, it was established that the bombs were attached to the bodies on direct orders from Kyiv.
"The purpose of the provocation was to accuse Russia of the intention to destroy the human remains and prevent their delivery to relatives in order to save the political reputation of the Kyiv regime and personally of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky,” Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov recalled that Azov* commanders, before being taken prisoner, publicly appealed to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with a request to take away the bodies of the killed militants. However, the Russian side did not receive any requests from Kyiv to remove the bodies from Azovstal.
From May 16 to May 20, a total of 2,439 Azov* fighters and military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine laid down their arms and surrendered.
Eduard Basurin, a representative of the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), said that the cleansing of the territory of the Mariupol plant would take another two to three weeks.
*Extremist group, banned in Russia
Afterwards, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will have to decide whether to go and sign the act of surrender, the intelligence officer concluded.