Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced Friday, September 16, 2022 the crimes of an army of “torturers” after the discovery of hundreds of bodies summarily buried in a region recaptured from the Russians, including those of people “tortured and executed”according to local authorities.
“99%” bodies exhumed in a forest on the outskirts of Izioum, a town in easternUkraine resumed at Russians last week, “showed signs of violent death”regional governor Oleg Synegoubov said in the evening.
“There are several bodies with their hands tied behind their backs and one person is buried with a rope around their neck. Obviously, these people were tortured and executed”he said on Telegram.
According to him, these are in total “450 bodies of civilians bearing traces of violent death and torture” who were buried at this site. “There were also children” among the bodies exhumed during the day by the “200 agents and experts” who work on the site, he added.
The President of Ukraine, in a video posted on Telegram, promised “a terribly just punishment” those responsible for the alleged crimes. “Russia leaves only death and suffering. Murderers. Torturers. Deprived of all that is human”he added, pointing out that“there is also evidence that Russian soldiers, whose positions were not far from this place, shot at the buried people just for fun”.
He also referred to the release by the Ukrainians of “seven citizens of the republic of Sri Lanka”medical students who had been captured in March by the Russians at Izium. “They receive the appropriate medical care”said Mr. Zelensky without further details.
Ukrainian human rights official Dmytro Loubinets, for his part, claimed on Telegram that there was “probably more than 1,000 Ukrainian citizens tortured and killed in the liberated territories of the Kharkiv region”.
Russia is acting “appalling way and it shows and repeats […]. We see what she leaves in her wake.commented in Washington the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken.
The EU also said “deeply shocked”. Same story in France: Emmanuel Macron condemned “with the greatest firmness the atrocities committed in Izium, Ukraine, under Russian occupation”.
On the ground, near Izium, Ukrainian investigators began Friday to exhume bodies in a forest where 443 graves were discovered, including a pit containing the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers.
One grave bore a cross with the inscription: “Ukrainian army, 17 people. Izioum, from the morgue”. Men in white coveralls were digging in the sandy soil. “The bodies will be sent for autopsy to determine the exact cause of death”stressed Governor Synegoubov.
“Every death will be investigated and become evidence of Russia’s war crimes in international courts”he added. “The scale of the crimes committed in Izium is enormous”he underlined, denouncing “a bloody and brutal terror”.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations immediately indicated that it wanted to send a team to Izioum to “determine the circumstances of the death of these people”.
Germany puts Russian group Rosneft under guardianship
Rosneft’s subsidiaries in Germany, which represent 12% of the country’s oil refining capacity, have been placed under “fiduciary administration” forced by the national agency which manages the energy networks, announced the Ministry of the Economy.
With this guardianship “it is a question of responding to the risks that weigh on the security of supplies” energy in the country, the ministry said.
Subsidiaries Rosneft Germany (RDG) and the company RN Refining & Marketing (RNRM) hold shares in three major refineries in the country.
The German government notably takes control of the PCK refinery in Schwedt, in the east of the country, where Rosneft holds a majority share (54.2%) and which supplies fuel to the capital Berlin, its airport and the entire region. around.
The conservatorship takes effect Friday and is initially limited to six months.
In this way “we are making ourselves less dependent on Russia and the decisions taken there”said Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference.
In a press release, Rosneft denounced a “illegal decision” and “a violation of all the fundamental principles of a market economy”. The Russian oil group will analyze “all possible remedies to protect shareholders, including going to court”.
Berlin already took control in early April of the former German subsidiary of Gazprom, Gazprom Germania, to secure its gas supply this time.
Prisoners of war against resumption of ammonia exports
Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that he would only accept a resumption of Russian ammonia exports via Ukraine in exchange for the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war by Russia.
In an interview with Reuters, the Ukrainian president said he offered the arrangement to the United Nations, which is advocating for a resumption of Russian ammonia exports via Ukraine to ease the global fertilizer shortage.
Ammonia is used in the manufacture of fertilizers used in conventional agriculture.
“I am against delivering ammonia from the Russian Federation through our territory. I would only do it in exchange for our prisoners. This is what I proposed to the UN.said Zelensky in his presidential office.
Quoted by the Tass agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov immediately rejected this idea.
21st American Aid
After the announcement of the sending by the White House of 600 million dollars of additional American military aid with in particular reinforcements of artillery ammunition, the American media emphasize the American anticipation of a military campaign “open-ended with no prospect of a negotiated end in sight”.
This is the 21st time the Ministry of Defense has delivered arms to Ukraine. This new delivery will include “counter-artillery radars, counter-drone systems and mine clearance equipment”.
During a roundtable at Stanford University led by General HR McMaster, former national security adviser under Donald Trump, the serviceman estimated that “what we see around Kharkiv is the psychological breaking point of some Russian forces”.
McMaster also called for increased deliveries of arms and military equipment to Ukraine, including heavy armor and tanks demanded by kyiv.
Loss of morale of Russian troops
In the American press, the washington post mentions the letters of Russian soldiers found after their retreat from towns retaken by Ukrainian forces. The daily emphasizes the loss of morale of the troops Russians due to moral and physical fatigue and lack of support from their command. The newspaper also devotes an article to the anti-war protests taking place in Russia.
Biden tries to repatriate Americans detained in Russia
The US president on Friday assured the families of two Americans detained in Russia, basketball star Brittney Griner and former serviceman Paul Whelan, that he “continued to explore all possible avenues” to repatriate them.
Joe Biden met separately with Elizabeth Whelan, sister of Paul Whelan, and Cherelle Griner, wife of Brittney Griner. “The president is grateful to have had the opportunity to learn more about Brittney and Paul”said his spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, without any details on the negotiations in progress.
Earlier in the day, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council attached to the White House, had assured that “Discussions continued. »
Russia had recently said it was ready to discuss a prisoner exchange for the sportswoman.