Volodymyr Zelensky announces the discovery of a “mass grave”, Ukraine expects to find “massive burial sites”

Volodymyr Zelensky announces the discovery of a "mass grave", Ukraine expects to find "massive burial sites"
A Ukrainian soldier uses a metal detector to inspect a grave in Izium, Kharkiv oblast, September 15, 2022. It is believed to contain the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers killed during the fighting against the Russians at the start of the war.

A ” pauper’s grave “ was brought to light in Izioum, affirmed, Thursday evening September 15, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. This city was retaken earlier this week from the Russians by Ukrainian forces, as part of the counter-offensive launched by kyiv.

” Tomorrow [vendredi], Ukrainian and foreign journalists will come to Izium. We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to. Boucha, Mariupol; now, unfortunately, Izioum…”launched Mr. Zelensky during his daily video message, without giving details on the number of people buried or the causes of their death.

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“Many people died of starvation”

On Friday, journalists from Agence France-Presse saw hundreds of graves in a nearby forest, where the bodies of civilians and soldiers who died during the fighting and the occupation were buried. According to local authorities, a total of 443 graves have been discovered at this site, including a grave containing the bodies of seventeen Ukrainian soldiers. Two men in white uniforms were digging the bottom in the sandy soil there on Friday, near a cross bearing the inscription: “Ukrainian army, 17 people. Izioum, from the morgue ».

According to Oleg Kotenko, government official for the search for missing persons, these graves were dug during the fighting that took place during the capture of the city by Russian forces in March and during the Russian occupation, which ended on Last week. Some graves could contain several bodies.

“Graves that do not bear names are those of people [trouvés] in the street “, said Mr. Kotenko. According to him, “Many people died of starvation”. “This part of the city was isolated, without supplies. People were stuck, nothing was working. »

“There are also other cemeteries in the city, but we didn’t go there. So we don’t know what the situation is.” as a whole, he added.

According to Oleg Kotenko, government official for the search for missing persons, the graves found in Izium were dug during the fighting that took place during the capture of the city by Russian forces in March and during the Russian occupation.

“Torture Rooms”

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights immediately indicated that it wanted to send ” soon “ a team in Izioum to “determine the circumstances of the death of these people”. The adviser to the presidency, Mykhaïlo Podoliak, assured Friday on Twitter that the graves found are not “only one of the massive burial sites discovered near Izioum”where “for months, terror, violence, torture and mass murder reigned supreme”.

Ukrainian police chief Igor Klymenko announced the discovery of ten “torture rooms” in localities retaken from the Russians in the Kharkiv region, including two of them in the town of Balakliïa.

On Wednesday, Mr. Zelensky traveled to the strategic town of Izium, from where he promised the Ukrainians the ” victoire “. He pointed out that “almost the entire Kharkiv region”in the northeast of the country, was now “liberated”thanks to a counter-offensive that began at the beginning of September.

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The investigation has begun, “we must have more verified and clear information tomorrow [vendredi] »said Mr. Zelensky in his daily video address on Thursday, while accusing Moscow. “Russia leaves death behind everywhere. And she must respond. The world really needs to hold Russia accountable for this war. We will do everything for it”he launched.

Mr. Zelensky compared Thursday the discovery of the mass grave of Izium with that which had been made in Boutcha, a city on the outskirts of kyiv, where the corpses of civilians coldly executed had been discovered after the departure, at the end of March, of the Russian forces. Moscow has denied committing these abuses.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Ukraine, Boutcha and Kharkiv overwhelmed by corpses

The World with AFP

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