“Four hundred and fifty graves” were discovered near Izium, a town in eastern Ukraine recently recaptured from Russian forces, presidential adviser Mykhaïlo Podoliak said on Friday. Ukraine has regained control of several thousand square kilometers of territory from Russian forces since early September.
Some “four hundred and fifty graves” were discovered near Izium, a town in the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, recently retaken from Russian forces, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said on Friday. “This is just one of the mass burial sites discovered near Izioum,” he wrote on Twitter. “For months, terror, violence, torture and mass murder reigned supreme in the occupied territories,” he added. He once again called on Ukraine’s supporters to send him arms, so as not to “leave people alone with evil”.
“Mass grave”, according to Zelensky
Ukraine has regained control of several thousand square kilometers of territory from Russian forces since the beginning of September, thanks to a counter-offensive launched on several fronts. The biggest gains were made in the Kharkiv region bordering Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Izium on Wednesday, a city of some 50,000 pre-war inhabitants that had been the subject of deadly fighting in the spring before being taken by the Russian army, which made it a strategic node of supplies. It was taken over by the Ukrainian army last week.
Volodymyr Zelensky announced Thursday evening the discovery of what he described as a “mass grave” in Izium, without giving details on the number of people buried or the causes of their deaths. A regional police official, Serguiï Botvinov, had for his part indicated to the Sky News television channel that some of the deceased had been killed by bullets, while others died in bombardments. AFP journalists who visited Izioum on September 12 saw a town devastated by the fighting with houses and public buildings destroyed and the remains of armored vehicles littering the roads.
Russian forces have been accused by Ukraine of numerous abuses in the territories they occupy, in particular in Boutcha, a town on the outskirts of kyiv from which they withdrew at the end of March and where the corpses of executed civilians had been discovered. Russia denies committing these abuses.