Zelensky says mass burial site found in recently recaptured city of Izyum

Ukrainian paratroopers drive on the vehicle with Ukrainian flag on the pantone bridge across Siverskiy-Donets river in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

A mass burial site was found in the recaptured Ukrainian city of Izyum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address on Thursday

Zelensky told the Ukrainian people that more “clear, verified” information about the site should be available on Friday, but the necessary “procedural actions” have begun. He said Ukrainian and international journalists will be in Izyum on Friday. 

“We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to. Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izyum … Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for that,” Zelensky said, referencing other cities in Ukraine that have come under intense Russian attacks that have killed many Ukrainians. 

A top Ukrainian police official told Sky News that 440 graves were found in the city. The official said the bodies will be exhumed and taken for forensic evaluation to gather evidence of alleged Russian war crimes. 

Ukraine retook control of Izyum in the northeastern part of the country last week as part of a major counteroffensive it launched earlier this month to liberate territory Russia has seized during the war. Ukrainian forces have taken back more than 2,000 square kilometers of territory that Russia had captured since February.

Zelensky visited the city on Wednesday to participate in a flag-raising ceremony.

Experts have said the counteroffensive could be a sign of a shift happening in the war and is a reason for optimism in Ukraine’s ability to repel Russian forces. 

Ukraine is also reportedly looking to liberate the city of Kherson in the southern part of the country.

Tags Izyum mass grave Russia Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine Ukraine counteroffensive Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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