Bodies With Tied Hands Found In Ukraine's Izium Mass Burial Site

The Ukrainian police chief Ihor Klymenko told a news conference all of the bodies recovered so far at the site appeared to be of civilians, although there was information that some soldiers might have been buried there too.

By Anushka Vats
Fri, 16 Sep 2022 09:53 PM IST
Minute Read
Bodies With Tied Hands Found In Ukraine's Izium Mass Burial Site
Reuters Image used for representation

BODIES with bound hands were found at a mass burial site in Izium after Ukrainian forces recaptured the city in northeastern Ukraine, the regional governor said on Friday.

"We are at the site of the mass burial of people, civilians who were buried here, and now according to our information they all have the signs of violent death," the governor, Oleg Synegubov, said at the site as quoted by the news agency Reuters.

"There are bodies with hands tied behind. Each fact will be investigated and will be properly and legally evaluated," he added.

Meanwhile, the officials also claimed that most of the dead were civilians and that the site proved war crimes had been committed by Russian invaders who occupied the area for months.

Men in white overalls were digging out bodies at the site in a forest where around 200 makeshift wooden crosses were scattered among trees. Some 20 white body bags could be seen.

Oleksandr Ilienkov, the chief of the prosecutor's office for the Kharkiv region, said that "One of the bodies (found) has evidence of a ligature pattern and a rope around the neck, tied hands."

"As for the others, according to preliminary information, there are signs of violent death causes. But in order to establish facts and circumstances, the bodies are (being) sent for forensic expertise for a more detailed investigation," he added.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address overnight, said that Russia must be held responsible for leaving death behind everywhere.

"Russia is leaving death behind it everywhere and must be held responsible," he said.

The site in Izium, a former Russian front-line stronghold, would be the biggest mass burial found in Europe since the aftermath of the 1990s Balkan wars. Ukrainian forces retook Izium after thousands of Russian troops fled the area, abandoning weapons and ammunition.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian police chief Ihor Klymenko told a news conference all of the bodies recovered so far at the site appeared to be of civilians, although there was information that some soldiers might have been buried there too.

Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak also tweeted photos showing a muddy pit taped off with red-and-white crime-scene tape and wrote, "For months a rampant terror, violence, torture and mass murders were in the occupied territories."

(With inputs from Reuters)

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