Russian Defence Ministry

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry on 31 May

During an inspection of the Azovstal plant underground facilities in Mariupol, where the surrendered Nazis of the Ukrainian Azov formation were hiding, Russian servicemen found an isothermal van.

152 bodies of dead fighters and servicemen of the AFU were stored in the van with a broken cooling system.

I recall that before surrendering, the Azov command publicly appealed to Zelensky to take the bodies of the dead so that their families could bury them on Kiev-controlled territory.

However, there were no requests from Kiev to receive the bodies of the dead from the Azovstal plant.

Moreover, during the inspection of the van, Russian sappers found four mines under the bodies of the dead Ukrainian soldiers. The total mass of explosives in them was enough to destroy all the bodies left in the van.

Based on the results of interrogations of captured Azov fighters, it has been established that the mining of the bodies was carried out on direct orders from Kiev.

The purpose of the provocation is to accuse Russia of deliberately destroying the bodies and preventing their removal for transfer to relatives in order to save the political “reputation” of the Kiev regime and Zelensky personally.

In the near future, the Russian side plans to hand over the bodies of Ukrainian fighters and servicemen found on the territory of Azovstal plant to representatives of Ukraine.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

During the day, high-precision air-based missiles have hit 4 control points, as well as 13 areas of concentration of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment.

Operational-tactical, army and unmanned aviation have hit 3 command posts, 69 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, 1 radar station and 2 ammunition depots of the AFU near Raigorodok and Nikolaevka, Donetsk People’s Republic.

The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 290 nationalists and 23 weapons and military equipment. 1 Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force has been shot down near Kobzatsy, Nikolaev Region.

Russian air defense means have shot down 6 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Donetsk, Makeevka in Donetsk People’s Republic, Popasnaya in Lugansk People’s Republic, Liptsy, Bolshie Prokhody in Kharkov Region, including 1 UAV have been shot down near Snake Island.

Missile troops and artillery have hit 38 command posts, 417 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, and 46 firing positions of artillery and mortar batteries.

36 pieces of weapons and military equipment nave been destroyed, including 1 Ukrainian Uragan multiple-launch rocket system battery, 1 Grad multiple-launch rocket system battery, 2 ammunition depots, and 1 fuel depot.

In total, 184 Ukrainian aircraft and 128 helicopters, 1,070 unmanned aerial vehicles, 325 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,342 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 454 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,738 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,311 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.






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