Some bodies were found at a mass burial site in the city of Izyum in eastern Ukraine Recently captured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that Russian forces showed “signs of torture,” and blamed Russia for what he called “cruelty and terror.”
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said, on Friday, that the authorities had found 440 unmarked graves in the largest burial site found in Izyum.
Zelensky He posted a photo of the ongoing exhumation at Izium on his Telegram channel. In a text attached to the photo, Zelensky wrote: “The whole world should see this. A world in which there should not be cruelty and terror. But all this is there. And its name is Russia. ”
Zelensky He said earlier that the site would be shown to Ukrainian and international journalists to see what had been discovered. “We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications said on Thursday that some of the graves discovered in Izyum were “fresh” and that the bodies buried there were “mostly civilians”.
Isium came under intense Russian artillery attacks in April, The city, located near the border between the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, became an important center of the invading army during the five months of occupation.
Ukrainian forces retook control of the city on Saturday, dealing a strategic blow to Russia’s military offensive in the east.
Images released by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Friday showed several crosses on hills in a forested area near Izyum, as well as a larger hole dug into the forest floor.
During his speech on Thursday, Zelensky said that Russia must be held accountable for the deaths there and in other cities where large numbers of bodies were found.
“BuchaAnd the Mariupol And now, unfortunately, Izium… Russia leaves death everywhere. And you should be responsible for that. The world must hold Russia responsible for this war. “We will do everything for that,” he added.
Serhiy Polvinov, the chief police investigator in the Kharkiv region, earlier told the British Sky News that there may be other mass burial sites in the Kharkiv region.
Polvinov spoke specifically of 440 cemeteries, telling Sky News that exhumations so far showed that the victims died of various causes.
We know that some were killed (by bullets), and some died from artillery fire, or so-called mine blast shocks. Some died from the air strikes. We also have information that many of the bodies have yet to be identified. And Sky News quoted Polvinov as saying that the causes of death will be determined during the investigations.
Zelensky talks to CNN about Ukraine’s counterattack against Russia
Meanwhile, Ole Kotenko, Ukraine’s Commissioner for Missing Persons, said in a Telegram post that searches for the remains of “fallen heroes” are being conducted with caution throughout the region.
The biggest problem is that some areas are still mined. Despite this, we continue to work, because we have to bring each hero home so that families can honor the memory of the soldiers who died for Ukraine in a dignified way as soon as possible,” Kotenko said.
Zelensky visited Izyum on Wednesday and told reporters he was “shocked” by the number of “destroyed buildings” and “dead people” left in the wake of the Russian occupation.
A UN source told CNN that a team from the UN human rights monitoring agency – OCHR – will go to Izium and surrounding areas as soon as possible.
The source said that the war crimes investigation team may follow up after that. Their exact destination is still unclear at this time.
Moscow was using Izyum as a staging post for attacks south into the Donetsk and Kobyansk region, about 48 kilometers (30 miles) north of Izyum, and as a railroad hub to resupply its forces.
Zelensky also thanked foreign governments for sending investigators and prosecutors to investigate alleged human rights violations by the occupying forces in Ukraine, adding that all occupied areas would eventually return.
Ukrainian forces launched a continuous military offensive, especially in the northeastern and southern regions of the country.
Zelensky said Tuesday that 8,000 square kilometers (3,088 square miles) of land has now been liberated by Ukrainian forces so far this month, with nearly half of the area still undergoing “stabilization” measures.
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