No evidence that dead soldiers are cremated to avoid paying compensation

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

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On February 14, 2024, the host of the program “Sum-Up of the Day with Nikoloz Mzhavanadze” on the Sezoni TV channel stated that Ukrainians cremate some of their soldiers killed in the war to avoid paying compensation to their families. Mzhavanadze had claimed that this process takes place right on the spot using mobile crematoriums that have already been discovered on the battlefield.

No evidence that dead soldiers are cremated

There is no evidence proving that Ukrainians cremate the bodies of soldiers who have fallen on the battlefield. Such accusations have been made repeatedly by the predominantly Russian side since the beginning of the war, but all of them have proved wrong and unfounded.

According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from February 28, 2022, the compensation for the family of a serviceman killed in the war is set at 15 million hryvnias. Nikoloz Mzhavanadze claimed in his program that to avoid these very expenses, the Defense Forces cremate their deceased comrades-in-arms. He also claimed that mobile crematoriums used by Ukrainians were discovered at the front, although no photo or video evidence was provided.

It should be noted that since the start of the war, the Russian media have repeatedly disseminated information that Ukrainians cremate their dead soldiers. Some of this information was based on Oleg Ivannikov’s statement that Ukraine had received 20 mobile crematoriums from Germany. Ivannikov asserted that this was Ukraine’s way of trying to conceal a high number of casualties and avoid epidemics at the front. It is worth noting that the vice-colonel did not provide any evidence that would support his assertion. Pro-Russian social media accounts also spread information that dead soldiers were cremated during the day in the city of Zaporizhzhia, making it difficult for the local population to breathe, although, in reality, as the fact-checking organization Vox Ukraine writes, there is no crematorium in the said city at all.

In August 2023, accounts of Russian-language users and Russian media outlets circulated a photo of a document, according to which the commander of the 123rd Brigade of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces ordered his subordinates to organize mobile crematoriums. The Ukrainian fact-checking organization Vox Ukraine and the international news agency Reuters checked this photo and found that it was a fake document, which was evident from a number of factual inaccuracies, as well as from the fact that this brigade belongs to the Mykolaiv region, while the document stated that it was issued by the Kherson region.

No evidence that dead soldiers are cremated
Fabricated document

It should be noted that the Ukrainian side has also repeatedly accused Russia of cremating its dead soldiers. According to Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence and the General Staff, the Russians actively use mobile crematoriums to conceal significant losses and avoid paying compensation to their families. However, they also did not provide any evidence.


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Violation: Without evidence
Country: Ukraine
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