Russia-Ukraine war live: reports of mass burial site outside recently liberated Izium

Reports of mass burial site outside Izium

Associated Press journalists yesterday saw a mass burial site in a forest outside recently-liberated Izium. Amid the trees were hundreds of graves with simple wooden crosses, most of them marked only with numbers. A larger grave bore a marker saying it contained the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers.

Investigators with metal detectors were scanning the site for any hidden explosives.

Oleg Kotenko, an official with the Ukrainian ministry tasked with reintegrating occupied territories, said videos that Russian soldiers posted on social media indicated there were likely more than 17 bodies in the grave.

“We haven’t counted them yet, but I think there are more than 25 or even 30,” he said.

Oleg Kotenko, the Commissioner for Issues of Missing Persons under Special Circumstances looks at the unidentified graves of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in the recently retaken area of Izium. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

Izium resident Sergei Gorodko…

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This article was written by Martin Belam (now) and Michael Coulter (earlier) and originally published on www.theguardian.com