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Ukraine: the difficult identification of war victims on the ground


More than a month after the start of the war in Ukraine, the death toll continues to climb. Numerous bodies, often piled up in pits, which makes their identification difficult. However, this is the only way to answer the questions of the families of the victims, who crowd into the cold rooms. Report to Borodyanka.

In Ukraine, it’s time to identify bodies. Rescuers are organizing with the means at hand to provide answers to families who have lost a loved one. Often the memories that have survived the horror of war are less.

In Borodyanka, Vladimir holds a shoebox in which are all the belongings of a victim. On the cardboard, he wrote in black marker the date of death: March 2, 2022. He says: “When the missile fell, the shock wave went through the building. The only thing we found was this are those bones next to the burnt springs on the couch.”

Saturated morgues

If Vladimir made this macabre collection, it is because he had the granddaughter of his deceased neighbor, who lives in Canada, on the phone. She wished she could recover her grandfather’s remains.

The story of many Ukrainians. Every day, dozens of families rush to the exit of the cold rooms to try to identify their missing relatives. “First, we have to get the bodies out of the rubble,” explains the mayor of Borodyanka. “Then they are transported to the morgue. But as they are all filled, we send them to a town 100 kilometers from here. We take samples. If the body is not identified, we hope that one day , she will be.”

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