After an escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe, Russia finally launched a military operation against Ukraine on Thursday. Since then, on Twitter, images of “mobile crematoriums” deployed by Moscow have been circulating. Shared nearly 6,500 times as of this writing, a tweet of the American businessman Bill Browder assures that “these trucks follow the Russian troops in combat so that they can hide the evidence of the victims”.
In his message, he quotes an article from the Daily Telegraph titled “Russia deploys mobile crematoriums to follow its troops into battle”. Understand: “Russia deploys mobile crematoriums to follow its troops into battle. “Do mobile crematoriums really follow the Russian soldiers in Ukraine since this Thursday? We take stock.
If the title of the article Telegram suggests that these devices have been deployed by Russia since the beginning of the Ukrainian invasion, the rest of the article is in fact much more nuanced. In fact, our British colleagues quote in this article the Secretary of Defense, Ben Wallace, on the fears that these vehicles inspire in him.
Describing them as “frightening”, the Minister of Defense only formulates a hypothesis on their use. “Ben Wallace, the Secretary of Defense, is suggesting that vehicle-mounted incinerators are going to be used to hide evidence of battlefield casualties,” he quickly clarifies. Daily Telegraph. The use of the verb “suggest” shows that this is only a guess at the moment.
But where does this fear come from? According to Ben Wallace, the use of this vehicle can allow the Kremlin to conceal the losses of the soldiers and thus to “evaporate” the soldiers killed in combat. Mobile crematoriums have indeed been used in the past by Russia in previous conflicts in Ukraine. This is what the Secretary of Defense explains when he says, in the columns of the Telegram “We expect to see some things already done before. »
In 2015, during the Donbass war, the American channel Bloomberg revealed the use of these mobile crematoriums. She then quoted the words of the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives, according to which Vladimir Putin’s army is trying “to hide not only from the world, but from the Russian people their involvement” . The Kremlin at the time denied any involvement in Ukraine. “Russian leaders are increasingly unable to conceal the fact that Russian soldiers are fighting – and dying – in large numbers in eastern Ukraine,” accused then-NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, also quoted by Bloomberg.