On January 28, the Ukrainian site Glavred published an article entitled, “Russians Bury Soldiers Killed on Donbas as ‘Surgical Waste’ in Rostov-on-Don.”


The journalists refer to the site Informator.su that in its turn writes that the photos were uploaded on to the Internet by activists. Neither the names of these activists nor any other references are given. Here are the photos published on these sites.

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First, there is no proof that these photos were taken in Rostov-on-Don. Second, the existence of signs with the inscription “Surgical Waste” is not sufficient to conclude that it is specifically Donetsk People’s Republic militants, or Russian soldiers, or whomever else that are buried in this location. The same day, January 28, Komsomolskaya Pravda published an article, “ATO Cemetery Found near Odesa.”


The journalist Aleksandr Boiko from Komsomolskaya Pravda writes: “Heroes of Ukraine saw how their fellows are buried – as biological waste, and instead of names only numbers are written”. The article is based on a post from Vkontakte, from the “News Summary from the Novorossia Militia” page.


Here are the photos:

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In fact, the post only states that an Odesa resident had been in the Odesa Western Cemetery and had found unmarked graves marked as “surgical waste.” It is unclear why he decided to say that the photos were from Rostov-on-Don.

A journalist Anton Dotsenko from the Odesa news site Timer looked into the situation of the nameless graves in the Odessa Western Cemetery. He writes: “Indeed, there are nameless graves there. However, this can hardly be grounds for any ‘conspiracy theories.’ It certainly looks striking and, to tell the truth, frightening. But the impression lightens when you look at the neighbouring graves from 2012 and 2013. The age of these graves can be easily authenticated, since the ground is beaten down, hard, and overgrown with grass. Here the graves have crosses and plates with no names. But the most important thing is that the total number of nameless graves of the previous years does not differ significantly from the number of graves from 2014. So, those famous photos give us no reasons for panicking that Ukrainian soldiers have been buried secretly in the Western Cemetery.”

“Surgical waste” graves are presumably those filled by medical cadavers, as Odesa officials say.

Therefore, there is no real evidence that there are secrete mass burials of Ukrainian soldiers in Odesa, or of Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republic militant or Russian soldiers in Rostov-on-Don.