On September 15, 2022, Oleg Kotenko, the commissioner for matters involving missing individuals under unusual circumstances, films the grave of a Ukrainian soldier using his smartphone in the recently retaken region of Izium, Ukraine. AP photo by Evgeniy Maloletka hide caption
switch to caption Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
On September 15, 2022, Oleg Kotenko, the commissioner for matters involving missing individuals under unusual circumstances, films the grave of a Ukrainian soldier using his smartphone in the recently retaken region of Izium, Ukraine.
AAP/Evgeniy Maloletka In Ukraine, IZIUM President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that Ukrainian officials had discovered a mass grave site close to a city in the northeast that had been retaken from Russian forces.
The grave was located in the Kharkiv area not far from Izium.
“There, the necessary steps have already started. Tomorrow, more precise, verifiable information should be accessible “In his daily televised address on Thursday night, Zelenskyy added.
On Thursday, reporters for the Associated Press visited the scene in a forest outside of Izium. Numerous graves with crude wooden crosses and number-only markers were scattered among the woods. A monument on a larger grave stated that it included the remains of 17 Ukrainian troops.
Metal-detecting investigators were searching the area for any undiscovered explosives.
Oleg Kotenko, a representative of the Ukrainian ministry in charge of reintegrating the occupied territory, claimed that videos released on social media by Russian military suggested that there were probably more than 17 dead in the grave.
We haven’t counted them yet, but he estimated that there might even be 30 of them.
Sergei Gorodko, an Izium resident, reported that dozens of adults and children killed in a Russian attack on an apartment building were among the hundreds buried in separate graves.
He claimed to have “pulled several of them out with my own hands” from the debris.
Zelenskyy cited the names of several Ukrainian cities where officials claimed Russian troops had left behind mass graves of victims and possibly proof of war crimes as they were leaving.
“Unfortunately, Izium has joined Bucha and Mariupol as the places where Russia leaves death. And it needs to be made responsible for it. The world needs to hold Russia accountable for this war “In the address, he said.
EUROPE According to Sergei Bolvinov, a senior investigator for the Ukrainian police in the eastern Kharkiv region, after Kyiv’s forces rushed in, a pit containing more than 440 bodies was found close to Izium. One of the largest burial places in a single freed city, according to him, was the grave.
Some of the people that were shot and buried in the pit. Others perished from mines, airstrikes, or artillery fire. According to Bolvinov, several of the bodies have not yet been recognized.
A dramatic Ukrainian counteroffensive last week prompted the Russian military to withdraw from Izium and other areas of the Kharkiv region. Zelenskyy took a rare trip outside the capital on Wednesday to witness the raising of the flag over the city hall in Izium.
Yevhen Enin, the deputy interior minister, stated on Thursday night that additional evidence discovered following Kyiv’s massive incursion into the Kharkiv region included numerous “torture cells” where both Ukrainians and foreigners were held “in really horrific conditions.”
“We have previously encountered the exhumation of individual bodies that had signs of torture, as well as signs of a violent death and ears chopped off, etc. There is much more to come, “Enin stated during a radio interview with Radio NV in Ukraine.
He asserted that students from an unnamed Asian nation who were apprehended at a Russian checkpoint as they attempted to flee for territory under Ukrainian control were among those detained at one of the locations.
Although he listed the small towns of Balakliya and Volchansk as two locations where torture chambers were discovered, Enin did not explain where the students were kept. It was unable to independently verify his claims.
“We have now meticulously documented all of these signs of war crimes. Additionally, Bucha’s experience has shown us that the greatest atrocities can only be revealed with time, “Enin made this statement in reference to a Kyiv suburb where hundreds of civilian deaths had been found after the Russian army had left the region in March.
Zelenskyy claimed earlier on Thursday that the Russians “only wrecked, only deprived, and only took away” during their five-month occupation of the area.
“They left villages in ruins, with no intact homes remaining in some of them. Schools were turned into trash dumps by the Germans, while churches were actually destroyed and turned into latrines.”
Other recent developments On Thursday, Zelenskyy attempted to give Ukraine’s recent military victories political momentum while missile strikes that caused floods close to his hometown showed how determined Moscow is to retake the military upper hand.
During her third trip to Kyiv during the war, Zelenskyy met with Ursula von der Leyen a week after the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Von der Leyen dressed in Ukrainian national colors and openly expressed the 27-nation bloc’s unwavering support.
“It is very essential and important to provide Ukraine with the military hardware they require for self-defense. And they have demonstrated that they can accomplish this when properly outfitted “She spoke.
Even though the Ukrainian capital has been spared recent strikes, air raid sirens twice sounded in Kyiv during von der Leyen’s meeting with Zelenskyy as a warning that Russia has long-range weaponry that can reach any point in Ukraine.
Russian missiles reportedly hit a reservoir dam close to Kryvyi Rih, Zelenskyy’s birthplace and the biggest city in central Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials late on Wednesday. Over 100 homes were inundated by the strikes.
The operation, according to Russian military bloggers, was meant to flood areas downstream where Ukrainian forces had made advances during their counteroffensive.
On Thursday, the leader of the local administration reported a fresh assault on the dam and claimed emergency workers were attempting to stop more water from leaking.
Zelenskyy was incensed by the first attack because it happened so close to his home and he said it was a military waste.
In reality, he claimed that another reason Russia would lose was because it had attacked hundreds of thousands of regular civilians.