Highlights

  • Mass grave found in recently liberated city of Izium, Ukraine
  • Besides 20 soldiers, scores of residents buried in the forest
  • Residents of Izium confirme the burial of civilians

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Russia-Ukraine war: mass grave found in recently liberated city of Izium

A mass grave of Ukrainian soldiers and hundreds unknown buried civilians were found in the forest of recently retaken Izium.

A mass grave of Ukrainian soldiers and hundreds unknown buried civilians were found in the forest of recently retaken Izium.

Russian soldiers buried Ukrainian soldiers in a mass grave in the forest, said Ukraine's Commissioner for Issues of Missing Persons under Special Circumstances Oleg Kotenko.

On Wednesday, Oleg Kotenko with a group of Ukrainian servicemen looked around the burial place in a forest in Izium.

He said that the Russians had posted a video of the forest, saying they had buried 17 Ukrainian soldiers.

"On the video we saw more. We hadn't counted yet. But I think there are more or less 25 bodies," said Kotenko.

Kotenko also said that hundreds of Izum residents who died during the Russian occupation were buried in this place with numbers on the crosses instead of names.

"These crosses are civilians who died. They were buried here," he said.

Izium residents confirmed that bodies of people who died during the Russian occupation were buried in the forest.

Kotenko said the bodies would be exhumed and their DNA examined.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said that Ukrainian authorities had found a mass burial site near a recently recaptured northeastern city previously occupied by Russian forces.

"A mass grave of people was found in Izium in the Kharkiv region. The necessary procedures have already begun there. More information - clear, verifiable information - should be available tomorrow," Zelenskyy said in his nightly televised address.

Associated Press journalists saw the site in a forest outside Izium on Thursday. A mass grave bore a marker saying it contained the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers. It was surrounded by hundreds of individual graves with only crosses to mark them.

Russia's forces left Izium and other parts of the Kharkiv region last week amid a stunning Ukrainian counteroffensive. On Wednesday, Zelenskyy made a rare trip outside Ukraine's capital to watch the raising of the national flag at Izium's city hall.

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