Mass Grave With 440 Bodies Found In Ukraine’s Recaptured Izium City: Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia is leaving death behind it everywhere and must be held responsible.

By Radha Basnet
Fri, 16 Sep 2022 01:16 PM IST | Source: REUTERS
Minute Read
Mass Grave With 440 Bodies Found In Ukraine’s Recaptured Izium City: Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Representative Image (Reuters Photo)

Ukrainian authorities found a mass grave of more than 440 bodies in the northeastern town of Izium that was recaptured from Russian forces days ago, officials said.

"Mass graves are being discovered in Izium after liberation from the (Russians)" and it added that "the current largest burial (site) has 440 unmarked graves," said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had paid a surprise visit to Izium on Wednesday.

Thousands of Russian troops fled Izium last weekend after occupying the city and using it as a logistics hub in the Kharkiv region.

They left behind large amounts of ammunition and equipment. "I can say it is one of the largest burial sites in a big town in liberated (areas)... 440 bodies were buried in one place," Serhiy Bolvinov, the chief police investigator for the Kharkiv region, told Sky News. "Some died because of artillery fire ... some died because of air strikes."

Ukrainian troops put the blame on Russia and likened the discovery to what happened in Bucha, on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv in the early stages of the late February invasion by Russian forces.

"Russia is leaving death behind it everywhere and must be held responsible," Zelenskyy said in a video address late on Thursday.

Russia has denied targeting civilians or committing war crimes. SHELLING After a week of rapid Ukrainian gains in the northeast, Ukrainian officials said Russian forces were fortifying defences and it would be hard to maintain the pace of the advance.

Ukrainian officials say 9,000 sq km (3,400 sq miles) has been retaken, territory about the size of the island of Cyprus. Reuters video from the eastern town of Kupiansk, which Ukrainian forces recaptured last week, showed many buildings had been damaged or burned out.

"No electricity, no communications ... if there were communications we could at least talk to family. If only there hadn't been all this bombing with everyone in their basements," said one man. The speed of the advance has lifted hopes of further gains before the winter sets in.

But Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region, said it would still be a tough fight to wrest control of his region back from Russia, which recognises it as an independent state controlled by separatists.

Throughout Thursday, Russian forces shelled towns in the Kharkiv, Kupiansk and Izium districts of the Kharkiv region, governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram.

On the Russian side, Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Russia's Belgorod region, said the Ukrainian army shelled the town of Valuyki near the border.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.