“Thanks to the Red Cross international representative office, it was possible to organize communications with the Russian side,” he said.
“It’s difficult to negotiate with the aggressor, but we’ve already managed to return 541 fallen defenders.”
Kotenko said that 428 bodies had been received from Mariupol, of which over 300 were the bodies of Azovstal defenders.
“We’re returning bodies from the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, Kharkiv, and Luhansk areas, from everywhere,” he added.
The bodies of another 16 Ukrainian soldiers who were killed during the defense of Mariupol were brought to Kyiv on Aug. 10.
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