Bucha, Mariupol, and now unfortunately Izyum, Zelensky said referencing other cities in Ukraine that have come under intense Russian attacks and killed thousands of Ukrainians. The President wants Russia to be held accountable for that.
Serhii Bolvinov, a top police officer for the Kharkiv region, revealed that the mass burial site found in Izyum contained around 440 graves. He said they were also aware of a number of other sites elsewhere in the Kharkiv region.
An image, shared by Zelensky's chief-of-staff, showed a number of wooden crosses jutting up from mounds in the earth, surrounded by trees. Andriy Yermak said necessary procedures have already begun. He outlined that all bodies will be exhumed and sent for forensic examination. The chief-of-staff said Russia is a murderer country â a state sponsor of terrorism.
Largest Burial Site with 440 Unmarked Graves
Bolvinov and his team are looking into all suspected Russian war crimes in the villages, towns and cities that have been recaptured by Ukrainian troops. In regards to the Izyum site, the chief investigator said its one of the biggest burials in one liberated city with 440 bodies buried in one place. Bolvinov believes some victims died because of artillery fire and mine explosion traumas, while some died because of airstrikes. Many bodies have not been identified, as such reasons of death will be established during the investigations.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence in a social media post stated that the current largest burial sites has 440 unmarked graves. A larger grave, as per Associated Press news agency, bore a marker saying it contained the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers.
Zelensky had travelled to Izyum on September 14. He took part in a ceremony raising the Ukrainian flag over the liberated city retaken by Ukrainian troops in a recent lightning counteroffensive in the eastern part of the country.