Volodymyr Zelensky announced the discovery of a “mass grave”, Ukraine hopes to find “grave sites”

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

“Tomorrow [vendredi], Ukrainian and foreign journalists go to Izium. We want the world to know what is really happening and what is behind the Russian occupation. 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 deaths.

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“Many people died of hunger”

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 occupation were buried. According to local authorities, a total of 443 graves were discovered at this site, including a grave containing the bodies of seventeen Ukrainian soldiers. Two men in white uniforms dug under the sandy soil there on Friday, near a cross with 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 occupation of Russia, which ended last week. Some graves may contain multiple bodies.

“Graves without names are the graves of people [trouvés] on the way”, said Mr. Kotenko. According to him, “Many people died of hunger”. “This part of the city is isolated, there is no supply. People are stuck, no one is working. »

“There are also other cemeteries in the city, but we did not go there. So we don’t know what the situation is. “ in general, 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 to conquer Russia.

“Torture Chambers”

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights immediately expressed its willingness to send “soon” a team at Izioum at “determining the circumstances of these people’s deaths”. The adviser to the presidency, Mykhaïlo Podoliak, assured on Friday on Twitter that the graves found were not “only one of the great tombs discovered near Izioum”emphasis “Within months, terror, violence, torture and mass killings reigned”.

Ukrainian police chief Igor Klymenko announced the discovery of ten “torture chambers” in the localities recovered 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, where he promised Ukrainians the “victory”. He pointed to that “almost the entire Kharkiv region”in the northeast of the country, now “released”thanks to a counteroffensive that began at the beginning of September.

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The investigation has begun, “There should be more proven and clear information tomorrow [vendredi] »Mr. Zelensky said in his daily video address on Thursday, while accusing Moscow. “Russia leaves death everywhere. And he had to answer. The world must hold Russia accountable for this war. We will do everything for it”he launched.

Mr. Zelensky on Thursday compared the discovery of the mass grave in Izium with that made in Boutcha, a city outside kyiv, where the remains of civilians who were killed in cold blood were discovered after leaving, at the end of March, of Russian forces. Moscow denies committing these abuses.

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The World with AFP

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