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Mobile DNA labs allow identifying those killed in Ukraine in just over an hour

Mobile DNA labs allow identifying those killed in Ukraine in just over an hour

Ukraine is using mobile DNA labs to rapidly process DNA samples of the dead in under 100 minutes, The Independent reports. The novel machines, provided by Western donors including the French authorities and the Howard G Buffett Foundation in the United States, are being driven around the country in police vans allowing teams to process evidence in real time.

The use of the DNA machines will allow speeding up the identification of thousands of the dead and to collect of war crime evidence for tens of thousands of cases that Ukraine is building against Russia since the invasion of February 2022, say Ukraine’s authorities.

The pre-war process which relied on sending DNA samples to the west of the country was terribly slow and could have dragged out the identification process by years. For instance, identifying all the bodies in a mass grave in Izium, found when Russian troops retreated from northeastern Ukraine in September, could have taken up to five years, Independent writes.

It notes that there are currently four such laboratories in the Kharkiv Oblast, one of them in Izium.

Ukraine’s top war crimes prosecutor Yuriy Belousov warned there could be as many as 100,000 Ukrainian civilians killed since the Russian invasion, and that they still have 3,300 bodies that are yet to be identified.

Ukraine is building over 24,600 war crime cases against Russia, according to Vasyl Maliuk, head of Ukraine’s Security Service.

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