- Enin didn't say where the students were being held, but he did say that the torture chambers were found in the small towns of Balakliya and Volchansk.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday night that Ukrainian authorities found a mass grave near a city in the northeast that had been taken back from Russian forces.
“People were found in a mass grave in Izium, which is near Kharkiv. There, the necessary steps have already been taken. “More information, clear information that can be checked, should be available tomorrow,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly TV address.
Thursday, reporters from the Associated Press saw the site in a forest near Izium. A sign at a mass grave said that 17 Ukrainian soldiers were buried there. It was surrounded by a large number of individual graves marked only by crosses.
President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the newly reclaimed Ukrainian city of Izium on Wednesday. “Our blue and yellow flag is already flying in de-occupied Izium. And it will be so in every Ukrainian city and village,” he said to soldiers. https://t.co/xYa1AhGCei pic.twitter.com/vuuwEXpiRw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 14, 2022
Zelenskyy brought up the names of other Ukrainian cities where, according to the government, Russian troops left behind mass graves of civilians and evidence of war crimes as they left.
“Bucha, Mariupol, and now, Izium, which is a shame…. Russia spreads death all over the world. And it should have to answer for it. “The world must hold Russia accountable for this war,” he said.
Last week, Russia’s troops left Izium and other parts of the Kharkiv region because of a surprising Ukrainian counterattack. Wednesday, Zelenskyy took a rare trip outside of Ukraine’s capital to see the national flag being raised at the city hall in Izium.
Sergei Bolvinov, a top investigator for the Ukrainian police in the eastern Kharkiv region, told Sky News that more than 440 bodies were found in a pit near Izium after Kyiv’s forces moved in. He said that the grave was “one of the biggest places to bury people in any freed city.”
“We know that some of the people in the pit were shot, that some were killed by artillery fire, and that some died from what are called “mine-explosion traumas.” Airstrikes killed some of them. We also know that many of the bodies haven’t been found yet,” Bolvinov said.
Yevhen Enin, the deputy interior minister of Ukraine, said Thursday night that evidence that the occupying Russian troops set up multiple “torture chambers” where Ukrainians and foreigners were held “in completely inhuman conditions” was found in cities and towns that Kyiv took back during its massive advance into the Kharkiv region.
“We’ve already seen the exhumation of individual bodies that showed not only signs of a violent death but also signs of torture, like cut off ears and so on. In an interview with Radio NV in Ukraine, he said, “This is just the beginning.” At least six reports made by police in the Kharkiv region since last weekend were the same as what he said.
He said that some of the people being held at one of the sites were students from Asia who were caught at a Russian checkpoint as they tried to leave for territory controlled by the Ukrainians.
Enin didn’t say where the students were being held, but he did say that the torture chambers were found in the small towns of Balakliya and Volchansk. His story could not be checked right away on its own.
“We are now keeping careful records of all these signs of war crimes. And we know from Bucha that the worst crimes can only be found out after a long time,” Enin said, referring to a Kyiv suburb where hundreds of civilians’ bodies were found after the Russian army left in March.
Thursday morning, Zelenskyy said that during the five months that the Russians controlled the area, they did nothing but “destroy, deprive, and take.” They left villages in ruins, and in some of them there isn’t a single house that isn’t broken. The occupiers turned schools into garbage dumps and broken-down churches into toilets.