Construction workers on a building site in Turkey have found the body of a Russian general who died 140 years ago.


A coffin containing the body of the general, whose identity is not yet known, was found in the city of Kars in north-eastern Turkey's Kars Province.


The man, who is wearing a Russian imperial army uniform, is virtually a skeleton - but his thick ginger beard is surprisingly still intact.


The coffin, decorated with a cross, is believed to date back to 1878 when the area was under Russian control.


The territory, which was fiercely contested between the Russian and Ottoman empires in the 19th century, was seized by Russia after the 1877-78 war.


It is expected that the coffin and its contents will be returned to Russia for further examination.


Online commentators immediately called for the unknown general's body to be reburied in his own country.


Netizen ‘Mestniy eger’ said: "It would be wonderful if they could bury him in a Christian country."


‘Serzh Arsv’ noted: "He looks like a duke that died storming one of the neighbouring towns. I think military historians would not have trouble identifying him."


And ‘Ot Baltiki do Tikhogo’ added: "Finally an orthodox man will find peace in his own land."


The Ottomans regained control of Kars from Russia in 1918 but were forced to relinquish it to Armenia following the Armistice of Mudros after World War I.


Turkey captured Kars for the last time in the Turkish-Armenian War in 1920, and the border was confirmed in the Treaty of Kars in 1921.

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Author: Zoey McDougall

Zoey McDougall
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