Russia calls discovery of hundreds of graves in Izium a 'lie' | War in Ukraine

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Russia calls “a lie” discovery of hundreds of graves in Izium | War in Ukraine

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Ukrainian authorities discovered more than 440 graves in a forest near from the town of Izium, as well as a mass grave containing the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers, at least one of whom had his hands tied with a rope.

The Kremlin on Monday called a “lie” the discovery of hundreds of graves in a forest near the town of Izium, recently taken over by Ukrainian forces, the latest Russian denial of abuses.

< p class="e-p">The Ukrainian authorities announced this macabre discovery Friday near this city of some 50,000 inhabitants before the war, under Russian occupation from April to early September.

AFP journalists saw hundreds of graves there on Friday marked with a cross and numbers or names and dates, as well as a mass grave containing 17 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers, according to medical examiners.

At least one of the corpses had its hands tied with rope.

According to Ukrainian authorities, more than 440 graves were found in this forest near Izioum, where the national police also said they had discovered, as in other localities recently taken over, torture rooms.

It's a lie. We will of course defend the truth in this affair, assured Monday the spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to him on Saturday of new evidence of torture in Izioum, where the exhumation process continues.

Russian forces have been accused of numerous abuses in the territories they control in Ukraine, and in particular in Boutcha, on the outskirts of kyiv, where the corpses of civilians coldly executed in the streets were found after their departure at the end of March.

Moscow denies committing the crimes, citing Ukrainian tampering.

The Czech EU Presidency on Saturday called for the creation of a special international tribunal for Izioum, and the UN has said it wants to send a team shortly.

On the ground on Monday, Ukraine accused the Russian military of bombing the site of the Pivdennukrainsk nuclear power plant in the south of the country, after weeks of tension around that of Zaporizhia, occupied by Moscow and targeted by multiple strikes.

According to the operator Energoatom, a powerful explosion occurred just 300 meters from the reactors of this plant, the lending to a night strike from a Russian missile.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again assured that Russia is endangering the whole world and called for it to be stopped until it's not too late.

In his evening speech, Mr. Zelensky assured that the Ukrainian army is firmly holding its positions and stabilizing the situation in the Kharkiv region, while the Ukrainian advance has been slowing down for several days.

In Donetsk, a stronghold of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, 13 civilians were killed Monday in a punitive Ukrainian strike on a square in the city that has been outside kyiv's control since 2014, according to the pro-Russian mayor. -Moscow.

In the neighboring region of Luhansk, separatists sentenced two employees of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to 13 years in prison , charged with high treason for providing confidential information to foreign intelligence services.

In the rest of Ukraine, 10 civilians have been killed and 22 injured in the past 24 hours, according to the report of the Ukrainian presidency, which reported shelling in several regions along the front and fighting mainly in that of Luhansk in the east.

In the Kharkiv region in the northeast, AFP journalists observed artillery fighting on the Kupiansk front, as a steady stream of traumatized civilians left the city, which had come under Ukrainian control.

In the streets of the city, huge pro-Russian propaganda posters were still visible, the streets were littered with broken glass, cartridge cases and leftover rations.

Mykhaïlo Tchindeï, 67, met at Izioum hospital, said he had been detained for twelve days in a damp cell. He also claims that his jailers broke his arm with a metal bar.

There has been no light, no electricity, for a week. No water, Rouslan, a 49-year-old ex-policeman, told AFP.

In the same area, AFP journalists also collected testimonies from Ukrainians who said they had suffered torture at the hands of Russian soldiers during the occupation of Russian forces.

They beat me on the heels, back, legs and kidneys, testifies Mykhaïlo Tchindeï, 67, met at the Izioum hospital. He says he was held for 12 days in a damp cell and his jailers broke his arm with a metal bar.

Russian soldiers accused him of giving the Ukrainian forces the coordinates of a school in which they had settled. A Ukrainian bombardment had killed many soldiers there.

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