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Ukraine: Hundreds of Graves Discovered in Recaptured City

Ukraine graves
Credit: Twitter/Defense of Ukraine

Investigators in Ukraine have been working their way through the graves in a mass burial site found in the city of Izyum after its recapture from Russia.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said at least 440 “unmarked” graves were found in the city in recent days. The country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that some of the bodies found in Izium showed “signs of torture,” blaming Russia for what he called “cruelty and terrorism.”

Izyum, invaded in April, was used by Russia as a key military hub to supply its forces from the east.

Ukraine says graves evidence of war crimes

Kharkiv regional prosecutor Olexander Ilyenkov says there is no doubt war crimes have been committed here.

“In the first grave, there is a civilian who has a rope over her neck. So we see the traces of torture,” he told the BBC.

He said almost everyone died because of Russian soldiers.

“Some of them were killed, some were tortured, some were killed because of Russian Federation air and artillery strikes.”

Most graves at the burial site are individual graves, with wooden crosses placed at the head of the dirt mounds. Some with names and numbers handwritten on them. One had a number as high as 398. Another with the name of an 82-year-old man.

Officials say one grave contained around 20 soldiers, some with their hands bound and one with a noose around his neck. The body of a man in military uniform was exhumed and zipped into a white body bag.

Earlier in the week Zelensky, said that his country’s forces liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers (2,317 sq miles) of territory in the east and south from Russia in September thus far.

Some military experts believe that Russia’s admission that it lost important cities in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine could be a turning point in the war.

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