Kyiv unearths mass graves, torture chambers in liberated Kharkiv
Lviv/Moscow, Sep 16 (EFE).- Ukraine has revealed to the world the discovery of a mass graves with the bodies of 440 Ukrainians allegedly killed by the Russian army, and a dozen alleged Russian torture chambers in the recently liberated territories in the eastern region of Kharkiv.
“More than 400 bodies were found in a mass grave in Izyum, with signs of torture. Children, killed in missile attacks and Ukrainian Army soldiers,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on his Telegram account.
Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets revealed that among the exhumed bodies were several corpses of soldiers with their hands tied, as well as entire families, including children.
The town of Izyum, home to some 45,000 inhabitants before the war, was of crucial importance to Russian forces, who planned to use it as a base to launch the final offensive against the Ukrainian strongholds of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in the neighboring Donetsk region.
But, in the face of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, they were forced to withdraw from the locality which they had occupied since April.
GRAVES IN IZIUM
Photographs released by the Defense Ministry show a field strewn with simple wooden crosses in a forest.
“Mass graves are being discovered in Izyum after its liberation. The largest burial site has 440 unidentified graves,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said”
Zelenskyy stressed the importance of “the world knowing what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to. Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izyum.”
“Russia leaves behind only death and suffering. Murderers. Torturers. Deprived of everything human. You will not be able to flee. You will not hide. Revenge will be terrible. For every Ukrainian, for every tortured soul,” he said.
Russia, he denounced, “leaves death everywhere. And it must answer for it. The world must hold Russia responsible for this war.”
The head of the Russian-appointed administration of the Kharkiv region, Vitaly Ganchev, dismissed the allegations, accusing the Ukrainian government of “speculating with people’s lives,” he told Russia’s official TASS news agency,
Izyum, like other towns, he added, was subjected to heavy Ukrainian artillery shelling “against civilian infrastructure and housing.”
“Now we understand what the Ukrainian army was terrorizing people for. Ukraine simply sacrificed the civilian population to create a postcard for the Western reporter who already today shoots his stories so that tomorrow the regime in Kyiv can receive more weapons,” he alleged.
In addition, the Ukrainian authorities revealed the existence of Russian torture chambers in the liberated territories.
The head of the Ukrainian National Police, Ihor Klymenko, told a press conference of the presence of “at least 10 torture chambers in the Kharkiv region”.
Ukrainian deputy interior minister Yevgeny Yenin revealed in an interview to Ukrainian broadcaster Radio NV that prisons were found in the Kharkiv region “with the help of the local population” in which detainees were held in inhumane conditions.
“We are thoroughly documenting all the evidence of these war crimes. We know from the experience of Bucha that the most horrible crimes can only be uncovered with the passing of time,” he said, noting that bodies with signs of torture, some with their ears cut off, have been exhumed.
Meanwhile, the UN human rights mission in Ukraine has already announced its intention to visit Izyum to follow up on the allegations.
The aim of the mission, as in Bucha, will be to establish whether the victims were military or civilian, whether they were killed, died in combat or died of natural causes, UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Liz Throssell said in Geneva. EFE