Friday Oct 7, 2022
Friday Oct 7, 2022

Mass grave found near recaptured city


Nepalnews
2022 Sep 16, 12:55,
Oleg Kotenko, the Commissioner for Issues of Missing Persons under Special Circumstances uses his smartphone to film the grave a Ukrainian soldier in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine who had been killed by Russian forces near the beginning of the war. (Photo: AP)

Ukrainian authorities found a mass burial site near a recaptured northeastern city previously occupied by Russian forces, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Thursday night.

The grave was discovered close to Izium in the Kharkiv region.

“The necessary procedures have already begun there. More information — clear, verifiable information — should be available tomorrow,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly televised address.

Associated Press journalists saw the site Thursday in a forest outside Izium. Amid the trees were hundreds of graves with simple wooden crosses, most of them marked only with numbers. A larger grave bore a marker saying it contained the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers.

Investigators with metal detectors were scanning the site for any hidden explosives.

Oleg Kotenko, an official with the Ukrainian ministry tasked with reintegrating occupied territories, said videos that Russian soldiers posted on social media indicated there were likely more than 17 bodies in the grave.

“We haven’t counted them yet, but I think there are more than 25 or even 30,” he said.

Izium resident Sergei Gorodko said that among the hundreds buried in individual graves were dozens of adults and children killed in a Russian airstrike on an apartment building.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)
A Ukrainian serviceman uses a metal detector to inspect a mass grave in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, which contains Ukrainian soldiers who were killed during the fighting against Russians near the beginning of the war. (Photo: AP)
A Ukrainian serviceman uses a metal detector to inspect a mass grave in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, which contains Ukrainian soldiers who were killed during the fighting against Russians near the beginning of the war. (Photo: AP)

He said he pulled some of them out of the rubble “with my own hands.”

Zelenskyy invoked the names of other Ukrainian cities where authorities said retreating Russian troops left behind mass graves of civilians and evidence of possible war crimes.

“ Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izium. … Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for it. The world must bring Russia to real responsibility for this war,” he said in the address.

Sergei Bolvinov, a senior investigator for Ukrainian police in the eastern Kharkiv region, told British TV broadcaster Sky News that a pit containing more than 440 bodies was discovered near Izium after Kyiv’s forces swept in. He described the grave as “one of the largest burial sites in any one liberated city.”

Some of the people buried in the pit were shot. Others died from artillery fire, mines or airstrikes. Many of the bodies have not been identified yet, Bolvinov said.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP
Andrii Iezyk shows the destroyed flat in his house in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. Iezyk's family have since the beginning of the war lived without gas, water and electricity. (Photo: AP)
Andrii Iezyk shows the destroyed flat in his house in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. Iezyk's family have since the beginning of the war lived without gas, water and electricity. (Photo: AP)

“All these traces of war crimes are now carefully documented by us. And we know from the experience of Bucha that the worst crimes can only be exposed over time,” Enin said, in a reference to a Kyiv suburb where the bodies of hundreds of civilians were discovered following the Russian army’s withdrawal from the area in March.

Earlier Thursday, Zelenskyy said that during the five months the Russians occupied the region, they “only destroyed, only deprived, only took away.”

“They left behind devastated villages; in some of them there is not a single undamaged house. The occupiers turned schools into garbage dumps and churches — shattered, literally turned into toilets.”


Houses destroyed and damaged after Russian attack on civilian neighbourhood in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. (Photo: AP)
Houses destroyed and damaged after Russian attack on civilian neighbourhood in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. (Photo: AP)

In other developments Thursday, Zelenskyy worked to add political momentum to Ukraine’s recent military gains, while missile strikes that caused flooding near his hometown demonstrated Moscow’s determination to reclaim the battlefield advantage.

A week after the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Zelenskyy met with European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen during her third wartime visit to Kyiv. Von der Leyen publicly conveyed the wholehearted support of the 27-nation bloc and wore an outfit in Ukraine’s national colors.

“It’s absolutely vital and necessary to support Ukraine with the military equipment they need to defend themselves. And they have proven that they are able to do this, if they are well equipped,” she said.

Air raid sirens blared twice in Kyiv during von der Leyen’s meeting with Zelenskyy, a reminder that Russia has long-range weapons that can reach any location in Ukraine even though the capital has been spared attacks in recent weeks.

Ukrainian officials said Russian missiles late Wednesday struck a reservoir dam near Kryvyi Rih, Zelenskyy’s birthplace and the largest city in central Ukraine. The strikes flooded over 100 homes.

A view of unidentified graves of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in a cemetery in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, who had been killed by Russian forces near the beginning of the war. (Photo: AP)
A view of unidentified graves of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in a cemetery in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, who had been killed by Russian forces near the beginning of the war. (Photo: AP)

Russian military bloggers said the attack was intended to flood areas downstream where Ukrainian forces made inroads as part of their counteroffensive.

The head of the local government on Thursday reported a new attack on the dam and said emergency crews were working to prevent more water from escaping.

The first attack so close to his roots angered Zelenskyy, who said the strikes had no military value.

“In fact, hitting hundreds of thousands of ordinary civilians is another reason why Russia will lose,” he said.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands at the checkpoint near the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. (Photo: AP)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands at the checkpoint near the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. (Photo: AP)
Svetlana Chabanova shows a hole on the roof of her house after Russian attack, in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. (Photo: AP)
Svetlana Chabanova shows a hole on the roof of her house after Russian attack, in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. (Photo: AP)

READ ALSO:

Ukrainian Mass burial site recaptured northeastern Russian forces President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Izium Kharkiv region graves metal detectors Apartment Bodies
Nepal's First Online News Portal
Published by Nepalnews Pvt Ltd
Editor: Raju Silwal
Information Department Registration No. 1505 / 076-77

Contact

KMC-02, UttarDhoka,
Lazimpat, Nepal

Newsroom
+977–01–4445751 / 4445754

E-mail
[email protected] [email protected]

Terms of Use Disclaimer
© NepalNews. 2021 All rights reserved. | Nepal's First News Portal