Kyiv: Ukrainian authorities have found a mass burial site containing more than 440 bodies in a forest just outside the eastern city of Izium, which was recently recaptured by Ukraine from the Russian forces, media reports said.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) while citing a UK-based outlet quoting Serhiy Bolvinov, the chief police investigator for Kharkiv region, said that forensic investigations would be carried out on everybody, some of which had been killed by shelling and air strikes.
“I can say it is one of the largest burial sites in a big town in liberated [areas]… 440 bodies were buried in one place,” Bolvinov said, the ABC report said.
Moreover, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has put the blame on Russia and drew a chilling comparison of the new mass graves to what was discovered in Bucha, on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv.
“There should be more information — clear, verified information — tomorrow,” Zelensky in a video address to the nation said over the discovery of new mass grave adding that journalists from around the world would be taken to the site on Friday (local time).” “We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to,” he said.
Notably, in the early stages of the late February invasion by Russian forces, hundreds of civilian residents were found dead on the street of Bucha, beside their homes, and in mass graves.Ukraine had accused Russia of the Bucha massacre.
However, Russia has denied the allegations and said that it was Ukrainian propaganda. Ukraine`s Western allies had also accused Russian forces of perpetrating war crimes there. Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine`s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.
Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia`s military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised to help Ukraine with military aid to fight Russia.