Huge mass graves discovered in reclaimed Ukraine city of Izyum

Ministry of the Defence of Ukraine (MDU) Thursday discovered an improvised grave site consisting of more than 440 unmarked graves in a nearby forest in Izyum after Ukraine retook control of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. MDU also informed that the necessary procedural actions have already begun there.

According to the MDU, the bodies consist mostly of civilians, but also bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers, adding to the widely documented evidence of mass executions by Russian forces since its invasion in February, including the discovery of 422 civilian bodies in Bucha after Russia retreated from the town near Kyiv in March.

Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine said, “Russia is a terrorist country. I don’t know why the world is slow to recognize it. We liberated Izium. Over 400 graves were found in the forest next to it. How many tortured Ukrainians are there is unknown. How many more of our people must die so that all finally figured it out?”

Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, reacting to the discovery of these unmarked mass graves said:

Back in March, Amnesty International sounded the alarm bell over the fate of civilians in Izium which had been under relentless attack by Russian forces since day four of Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. These newly reported discoveries confirm our darkest fears. The people of Ukraine and the world deserve to know how exactly those buried in the forest near Izium have died. For every unlawful killing or other war crime, there must be justice and reparation for victims and their families and a fair trial and accountability for suspected perpetrators.