The law enforcement officers completed the exhumation of bodies from a mass grave in the town of Izium, Kharkiv region, liberated from the Russian army. A total of 436 bodies, including those of women and children, were exhumed.

Serhii Panteleyev, deputy chief of the Main Investigative Department of the National Police, said this at a briefing.

He added that 11 bodies had been so mutilated that the police could not even determine their gender so far; the forensic experts would examine the bodies. Twenty-one bodies of Ukrainian service members were found in the mass grave in Izium. Most of them have signs of violent death.

The exact cause of death of each citizen will be established during additional expert examinations.

“More than 1,500 inspections of war crime sites have been conducted in the Kharkiv region. During the examinations of the liberated settlements, the police found 18 places where the Russians illegally detained and tortured our citizens. The premises of these torture chambers have already been inspected; evidence of war crimes has been recorded and collected,” Panteleyev said. He added that the National Police also created a register of Russian servicemen and illegal armed formations of the occupiers stationed in the Kharkiv region. More than 1,000 people with established identities have already been added to this register: their surnames, call signs, and photographs are known.

Oleh Synehubov, Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, posted on Telegram that traces of torture had been found on 30 exhumed bodies.

“There are bodies with ropes around their necks, with tied hands, with broken limbs and gunshot wounds. Several men have amputated genitalia. All this is evidence of the terrible tortures that the occupiers subjected the residents of Izium to. Most of the bodies belong to civilians,” Synehubov noted.

According to him, such a mass burial site is not the only one in Izium – at least three more such places have already been found near the town, and there are also mass graves in other liberated towns in the Kharkiv region.

The day before, UN experts presented evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. The commission has been working since May to investigate allegations of war crimes in the Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Chernihiv regions.

The commission’s report singled out several areas in which the actions of the Russian army were particularly brutal. These include indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, executions, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Bohdan Marusyak

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