Ukraine says 447 bodies exhumed in Izum, 30 with ‘traces of torture’
Ukrainian authorities in the eastern Kharkiv region said on Friday that 447 bodies were retrieved from a mass burial site near the eastern city of Izium, which had been taken away by Russian forces.
Kharkiv regional prosecutors said on social media: “In Izum, the removal of all bodies at the mass burial site has been completed.”
“During September 16-23, 447 bodies of the dead were retrieved from the scene,” he said in a statement on Facebook.
Prosecutors said among them were 425 bodies of civilians, including five children, and 22 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers.
He said that all necessary measures would be taken “to establish the circumstances of the deaths and to punish the Russian army”.
Earlier on Friday, Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Sinegubov said that 436 bodies were retrieved.
“Most of them have signs of violent death, and 30 have signs of torture. They have bodies with ropes around their necks, their hands tied, broken limbs and gunshot wounds,” he said in a statement on social media.
Ukraine occupied Izium and other cities in the east this month, crippling Kremlin supply routes and bringing new claims of Russian atrocities with the discovery of hundreds of graves – some containing multiple bodies.
“Many men have their genitals amputated. All this is evidence of the terrible torture to which the invaders subjected the inhabitants of Izium,” said Sinegubov.
The Kremlin has denied that its forces were responsible for the mass killings in eastern Ukraine and accused Kiev of discovering mass graves in the recaptured territory.