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Ukraine police say bodies of more than 500 civilians found in Kharkiv including children

Corpses showed signs of gunshots, explosions and torutre, Ukrainian official says

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Saturday 08 October 2022 12:03 BST
Moment fire engulfs key bridge connecting Crimea and Russia after huge explosion

The bodies of more than 500 civilians have been found in Russian-occupied Kharviv, a region recently retaken by Ukraine’s forces.

Out of 534 bodies, 226 were women and 19 were children, the head of Kharviv’s police said.

At least 447 victims were found at a mass burial site uncovered in Izium, a town liberated by Ukraine’s army in early September.

The bodies of over 500 civilians have been found in Russian-occupied Kharviv (EPA)

However, Serhiy Bolvinov, a regional police official, said that twenty more “torture chambers” have been discovered.

According to Ukrainian first deputy minister of Internal Affairs Yevhen Yenin, the recovered bodies in Kharviv bore signs of gunshots, explosions and torture. Some people had ropes around their necks, hands tied behind their back, bullet wounds to their knees and broken ribs.

The report is the latest of a string of alleged war crimes committed by Russia. Last month, testimonies from former detainees revealed shocking accounts of human rights violations in detention centres, including executions.

Erik Mose, the UN’s commission chairman for a human rights inquiry into Ukraine, said: “We were struck by the large number of executions in the areas that we visited. The commission is currently investigating such deaths in 16 towns and settlements.”

Bags with dead bodies are seen during the exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

In April, just two months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin’s troops were accused of a series of war crimes in the town of Bucha.

Officials in Ukraine said after Russian troops left the area, corpses were found in the street and some were in mass graves. There was evidence many had been bound, with gunshots to the head, and others showed signs of torture.

(Press Association Images)

In Ukraine’s northeastern region of Trostyanets in Sumy, The Independent exclusively revealed fresh evidence of war crimes as victims spoke of torture and one prisoner said a man was beaten to death next to them.

Our reporter Bel Trew spoke to a number of Ukrainians trapped in a torture room, where they say they were starved, tortured and forced to sit in their own excrement by Russian soldiers.

Despite mounting evidence, Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of committing war crimes and explicitly denounced the allegations made regarding Izium as a “lie”.

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