Top Ukraine official says 450 bodies found in Izyum mass grave, some with hands tied behind their backs
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About 450 bodies have been exhumed from a mass grave in the city of Ezeum in the northeastern region of Khakariv. High officials of Ukraine Fox News Digital reported Saturday.
Russian forces withdrew from Kharkiv last week as Ukrainian ground forces quickly advanced and retook much of the region from Russian troops.
But the devastation Russia has caused is similar to the atrocities and alleged war crimes seen in other retaken areas of Ukraine, such as Bucha and Arpin.
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“We are discovering new sites of atrocities and renewing evidence of war crimes,” Yuriy Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister, told Fox News Digital. “Men, women, children. Some bodies were dug up and their hands were tied behind their backs.”
Witnesses to the exhumation of the bodies said they showed signs of having been shot, killed by artillery fire, mines or airstrikes.
“We are seeing what we have warned about before, that wherever the Russian occupiers set foot, they leave destruction, they leave atrocities, they commit war crimes,” he added. , they terrorize and terrorize peaceful populations.”
A torture chamber was found in the city of Kupiansk, about 75 miles north of Izyum, and was allegedly used by Russian forces to terrorize people working to thwart a Russian invasion, Sak said. was suspected.
Reports on Friday indicated that 10 torture chambers had been discovered since the withdrawal of Russian troops.
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Ukrainian President Zelensky says that a mass grave was discovered in Azim after the withdrawal of the Russian army
Ukrainian forces have retaken about 3,300 square miles of Russian-held territory since the beginning of September, but Sack said Ukrainians are not yet celebrating.
“It’s absolutely paralyzing to think what the Ukrainian military will discover when we liberate cities like Mariupol,” Sak said. The site of one of the fiercest battles In Ukraine, hundreds of soldiers and civilians were trapped after Russian troops advanced on the city. “Completely razed to the ground and destroyed and shelled by rockets and bombs for months.”
Sock said at least 25,000 civilians are believed to have been killed. in the southern port city by the time Ukrainian troops left the city in May after weeks of intense fighting, a growing threat of starvation and an eventual cease-fire.
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“We believe this war is far from over. We believe we are up against an enemy who is treacherous, who is genocidal, who is still well-armed,” he added. “We’re committed to continuing what we’re doing.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said a number of investigations into suspected war crimes and human rights abuses had been launched this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.