Ukrainian authorities have found a mass burial site close to Izyum after advancing into the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday.
Driving the news: It’s unclear how many bodies were recovered, but the Izyum site is the latest in a string of mass graves Ukrainian and international officials say Russian forces have left behind.
Details: “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,” reports AP, whose journalists were on site.
- The actual number of bodies is likely higher, per AP.
What he’s saying: “We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to,” Zelensky said in his Thursday address.
- “Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izyum… Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for that,” he added.
- “The necessary procedural actions have already begun there. There should be more information — clear, verified information — tomorrow.”
The big picture: Satellite imagery previously showed the construction of similar mass grave sites in Bucha, Mariupol and Manhush.
- Ukrainian prosecutors later filed criminal charges against Russian soldiers accused of war crimes in Bucha.
- The Kremlin has repeatedly denied targeting civilians or committing other war crimes, but UN officials who’ve visited the country say there’s a “horror story” of violations against civilians and growing evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court and other prosecutorial agencies have opened probes into allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed in Ukraine.
What to watch: Ukrainian forces’ recent surprise offensive has reshaped the battlefield and forced Russian troops to retreat from most of the Kharkiv region.
Go deeper: What counts as a war crime and why they’re so hard to prosecute.
Read Nore:Zelensky says another mass burial site’s been found in Ukraine, this time in Izyum