Hundreds of tombs discovered in Izioum, recently retaken from the Russians | War in Ukraine

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Hundreds of graves discovered in Izium, recently recaptured from the Russians | War in Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities said they discovered nearly 400 graves in a forest on the outskirts of the city.

Reporters from the #x27;AFP present Friday in Izium, a town recently recaptured from Russian forces, 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 were discovered at this site, including a grave containing the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers. Two men in white uniforms were digging the bottom in 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 when the city was captured by Russian forces in March and during the Russian occupation, which ended last week. . Some graves could contain several bodies.

The graves without names are those of people [found] on the street, Mr. Kotenko said, according to which there are many people who died of starvation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday compared the discovery of these graves to that made in Boutcha.

This part of the city was isolated, without supplies, he added. People were stuck, nothing was working.

There are also other cemeteries in the city, but we didn't go there. So it's unclear what the big picture is, he added.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations immediately indicated that it wanted to send a team to Izioum shortly to determine the circumstances of the death of these people.

Ukrainian police chief Igor Klymenko told him of the discovery of 10 torture chambers in localities recaptured from the Russians in the Kharkiv region, including two of them in the town of Balaklya.< /p>

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Izium on Wednesday for his first visit to this Russian border region in the northeast of the country since the departure of Russian forces, driven out by a counter-attack. offensive launched in early September on several fronts.

Presidential adviser Mykhaïlo Podoliak assured Friday on Twitter that these graves are only one of the massive burial sites discovered near Izioum, where for months, terror, violence, torture and mass murder reigned supreme.

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AFP had previously visited Izium, a prewar town of some 50,000, shortly after Russian forces left on the night of Saturday to Sunday. The destruction there was significant with houses and administrative buildings devastated by the fighting and carcasses of armored vehicles strewn on the roads.

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

On the front line on Friday, 12 people were injured in heavy Russian shelling in areas recently retaken from the Russians in the Kharkiv region, and four more people in the city of Kharkiv itself, according to regional authorities.

In Dnipropetrovsk, in the center east of the country, one person was injured in shelling that targeted the towns of Nikopol and Kryvyi Rig, the birthplace of Mr. Zelensky where Russian forces attacked damaged in a water infrastructure strike on Wednesday, causing the Ingoulets River to rise and flooding.

In the east, fighting for positions took place in the region of Lugansk, while in that of Donetsk, Russian bombardments, in particular on Bakhmout, left five dead and six wounded, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

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Ukrainian soldiers.

On the southern front, where Ukrainian forces encounter more resistance than in Kharkiv, the situation remains difficult, but Ukrainian forces continue to shell bridges used by Moscow forces, according to the same source.

After the invasion launched on February 24, the West imposed a series of sanctions on Russia while supplying arms to kyiv, a crucial support, for which Washington validated Thursday a new component of up to 600 million dollars.

Visiting kyiv, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen promised Thursday that the EU will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes, then advocating on television for Russian President Vladimir Putin to appear before international justice.

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The latter met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan on Thursday, on the sidelines of a regional summit where he hailed on Friday the new centers of power emerging in the world facing the West.

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