Forensic medical examination confirmed that unknown citizens buried at Ovsyanoye cemetery died as result of shelling by AFU – Interdepartmental Commission

Interdepartmental commission News

The Interdepartmental Commission of the DPR on the Search for Missing Persons, the Search for Burial Places of Bodies (remains) of the Deceased (dead) in Areas of the Armed Conflict in Donbass announced the results of examinations of the remains of unknown victims of the Ukrainian aggression, recovered from unmarked graves at the Ovsyanoye cemetery in Snezhnoye.

Thus, specialists from the Republican Bureau of the Forensic Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the DPR conducted medical, forensic and anthropological has studied of 37 out of 40 bodies raised at the moment. At nearly all of these bodies have damages specific to armed conflicts. Most died as a result of gunshot bullet and shrapnel wounds, explosive injury with fragmentation of bodies and high temperatures, as well as due to combined injuries to the body from the action of blunt objects, which could be elements of building structures.

“We can say with confidence that unknown citizens buried at the Ovsyanoye cemetery died during the hostilities. It should be noted that they were all buried in civilian clothes, in which they were at the time of death – traces of wear, damage from bullets and fragments were recorded on the things. That is, we are talking about civilians of Donbass who have become anonymous victims of the Ukrainian aggression. Our duty is to restore justice and find out the name of each of them in order to honourably perpetuate the memory of the fallen and mitigate the suffering of their relatives,” said Daria Morozova, Ombudsman of the DPR, and head of the Interdepartmental Commission.

According to Dmitry Kalashnikov, head of the Republican Bureau of the Forensic Medicine, a member of the Interdepartmental Commission, using special programs, experts established the sex, age, height and other anatomical features of the examined remains. Among the male bodies, one woman, whose age is approximately 25-30 years, was found. 15 male bodies were over 50 years old.

Materials for DNA analysis were selected. In the future, this will make it possible to identify the identities of the victims by comparing them with the genetic data of the relatives of the missing in the area.

“Mass graves at this cemetery appeared in the summer of 2014, when Snezhnoye and surroundings of the city were under constant shelling by the AFU. Local residents buried the dead fellow countrymen on their own, in the most difficult conditions. Despite this, the burial was carried out in accordance with the canons – all the recovered remains were buried in coffins, inside of which an additional funeral set was put on top of the body,” said Dmitry Kalashnikov.

It should be recalled that the search group of the Interdepartmental Commission has been conducting the search of mass graves at the Ovsyanoye cemetery in Snezhnoye since 18 August 2021. Work at the location continues. During the next stage, it is planned to raise alleged two more bodies.

The Interdepartmental Commission was created by the order of the Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin on 6 Augist 2021. Chairman is the Human Rights Ombudsman in the DPR Daria Morozova.

Relatives of missing persons and witnesses to disappearances can contact the Commission by calling the hotline. Telephone number: (071) 404-69-29. You can also send an appeal in writing to the e-mail address [email protected].