Kyiv recovered dead bodies of 522 Ukrainian servicemen who were earlier thought to be missing, said Oleg Kotenko who oversees issues of disappeared Ukrainians.

In his comments for Ukraine’s national telemaraphon, the official said the  search and collection of bodies takes place in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv regions. Ukraine is intent to bring back the bodies of all Ukrainian defenders.

He admitted Ukraine uses mediators in this matter to avoid direct talks with Russia.

‘They (talks) are very different from the ones we had back in 201-15. We would talk directly to leaders of so-called DNR and LNR to sort out the issue. Today talks happen the different way. We have a mediator; it is the International Red Cross through which we talk to Russia. These talks go okay as we are collecting the bodies of Ukrainian defenders,’ said Kotenko.

He also revealed the details of body collection and their following return. The Ukrainian side comes up with the sites where combat earlier took place  assuming there can be bodies of fallen Ukrainian troops. When the information comes through the mediator to the Russian side, they inspect the sites, and, if such bodies are found, the two sides than decide on the place and terms of their hand-over.