Ukrainian authorities have discovered a mass burial site containing more than 440 bodies in the eastern city of Izium that was recently recaptured from Russian forces, a regional police chief has said.
Serhiy Bolvinov, the chief police investigator for Kharkiv region, said that some of the people had been killed by shelling and airstrikes.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy likened the discovery to what happened in Bucha, the wealthy town on the outskirts of Kyiv that has become synonymous with war crimes. In a Thursday night video address the President said: “Russia is leaving death behind it everywhere and must be held responsible.”
“The necessary procedures have already begun there. More information – clear, verifiable information – should be available tomorrow,” Zelenskiy said.
Russia stands accused of perpetrating war crimes in Bucha in the early stages of the February invasion.
Bolvinov said forensic investigations would be carried out on every body.
“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,” he said. “Some died because of artillery fire … some died because of air strikes.”
The Ukrainian defense ministry tweeted: “Mass graves are being discovered in Izium after liberation from the (Russians)” adding that “the current largest burial (site) has 440 unmarked graves.”