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(LEAD) S. Korea verifying Russia's data showing deaths of 4 volunteer fighters in Ukraine

Defense 20:40 June 18, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES lead, paras 3-4; ADDS more info from 5th para)

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry said Saturday it is ascertaining the veracity of the Russian defense ministry's data that showed four of its nationals who volunteered to fight alongside Ukrainian forces have died.

"We are aware of Russia's defense ministry's data," an official with the foreign ministry said. "We have ordered the South Korean embassy in Russia to identify the facts."

Earlier, Russia's defense ministry revealed data on foreign military volunteers in its war against Ukraine.

The data claimed 13 South Koreans entered Ukraine to help Ukrainians' fight against the Russian invasion and that, among them, four died during the fighting, with eight having left Ukraine and one still in the country.

Besides the figures, Russia did not disclose other information, such as their names.

In April, the foreign ministry said it obtained intelligence from relevant countries that there were deaths among its nationals participating as volunteer soldiers in the Ukraine war and tried to confirm its veracity.

Since mid-February, South Korea has prohibited its citizens from traveling to the country without authorization from the government.

This photo taken June 17, 2022, shows the South Korean Embassy building in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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