At least 440 graves were found in the recaptured Ukrainian city of Izyum, officials said Thursday. Some of the victims may have died from shelling and airstrikes, the officials said. They were mostly civilians, Ukraine said.LoadingSomething is loading.A mass burial site containing at least 440 bodies was found in the recaptured Ukrainian city of Izyum, officials said.Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Friday that mass graves were discovered in the city after it was retaken from Russia, and that the largest burial site had 440 unmarked graves.Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications said on Friday that a mass gave with more than 400 bodies had been found. It said that some of the graves were “fresh” and that the dead were “mostly civilians.””The Russian invaders enacted the same brutal terror everywhere they come,” it said.Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, tweeted on Thursday that dozens of wooden crosses were discovered in a forest outside the city in the eastern Kharkiv region.An image shared by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry that it said showed a mass grave in Izyum.Ukraine Defense MinistryThe defense ministry, communications center, and Yermak all shared pictures that show multiple wooden crosses between trees.”Necessary procedures have already begun. All bodies will be exhumed and sent for forensic examination,” Yermak said. “Russia is a murderer country. A state sponsor of terrorism,” he wrote.What happened to all of the victims is unclear.But the chief police investigator for the Kharkiv region, Serhii Bolvinov, told reporters on Thursday that some of them may have died from shelling and airstrikes, Sky News reported.”We know that some were killed [shot dead], some died because of artillery fire, so-called mine explosion traumas. Some died because of airstrikes,” Bolvinov told reporters, as per Sky News.”Also we have information that a lot of bodies have not been identified yet.””For me, it was especially shocking and horrific and this is a crime against humanity. It shouldn’t be like this in a civilized world in 2022,” he added, according to Sky News.Izyum, which has a population of around 45,000 people, was among the many villages, towns, and cities that were recaptured by Ukrainian troops in a lightning offensive in the Kharkiv region this month.The city had been occupied by Russian forces for five months.Zelenskyy visited Izyum on Wednesday, where he oversaw a ceremony raising the Ukrainian flag and met with soldiers on the front, the BBC reported. In his nightly address on Thursday, he compared the suffering in the city to the apparent atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, and the southern port city of Mariupol.Zelenskyy said in his address: “Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for that. The world must hold Russia to real account for this war. We will do everything for this.”Ukrainian forces found mass graves and evidence of war crimes in both Bucha and Mariupol. The UN is investigating possible war crimes in Bucha, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in April that events in Bucha were a “deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities.”


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