IZIUM, Ukraine (AP) — Investigators searching through a mass burial site in Ukraine have found evidence that some of the dead were tortured, including bodies with broken limbs and ropes around their necks, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said Friday.
The site near Izium, recently recaptured from Russian forces, appears to be one of the largest discovered in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy spoke in a video he rushed out just hours after the exhumations began, apparently to underscore the gravity of the discovery. He said more than 440 graves have been found at the site but that the number of victims isn’t yet known.
Digging in the rain, workers hauled body after body out of the sandy soil in a misty pine forest near Izium. Protected by head-to-toe suits and rubber gloves, they gently felt through the decomposing remains of the victims’ clothing, seemingly looking for identifying items.
Associated Press journalists who visited the site saw graves marked with simple wooden crosses. Some of the markers bore people’s names and had flowers hanging from them.
Before digging, investigators with metal detectors scanned the site for explosives, and soldiers strung red and white plastic tape between the trees.
Zelenskyy said hundreds of civilian adults and children, as well as soldiers, …read more