The steel factory in Azovstal had been under heavy fire for years, and the last Ukrainian fighters surrendered in mid-May. Now there is a grisly discovery, says the Russian military.

According to the Russian military, more than 150 bodies of Ukrainian fighters have been found in the underground bunkers of the Azovstal factory, which has been the subject of months of fighting.

“152 bodies of fallen fighters and soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces were stored in a container with no longer functioning cooling,” said the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, on Tuesday in Moscow.

To date, the Ukrainian leadership has not made any request to transfer the dead. On the contrary, the Russian troops discovered mines under the corpses, with which the container was probably supposed to be blown up on instructions from Kiev in order to blacken Russia, Konashenkov claimed. Russia will soon hand over the dead to representatives of Ukraine, he said.

The port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine was encircled by Russian troops in the first days of the war. As a result of the fighting, the city, which was home to 440,000 people before the war, was almost completely destroyed. The Ukrainian defenders, some of whom belonged to the right-wing extremist Azov regiment, finally entrenched themselves in the Azovstal steel works after heavy rearguard action before the last soldiers there surrendered in mid-May.

The pro-Russian separatists now want to put them on trial. They also threatened to impose the death penalty on the fighters on charges of war crimes.