“In the 21st century, such attacks on civilians are unthinkable and brutal,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Twitter on Saturday.
“We must not ignore it. We are for the punishment of all war criminals,” he said, adding, “I call for the speedy creation of a special international court”.
Ukrainian authorities announced on Friday that “the bodies of 450 civilians bearing signs of violent death and torture” had been buried in a tree on the outskirts of Izium.
“Several bodies are tied behind the back, one is buried with a rope around the neck. Apparently these people were tortured and hanged,” regional governor Oleg Sinekobov said in a Telegram.
At the same site, an AFP journalist could see at least one body with its hands tied with rope.
According to Ukrainian human rights official Dmytro Loubinets, “more than 1,000 Ukrainian citizens may have been tortured and killed in the liberated territories of the Kharkiv region”. As for Igor Klymenko, the head of the Ukrainian police, he announced that 10 “torture chambers” had been found in places reclaimed from the Russians in the Kharkiv region, including six in Issyum.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the crimes of the Russian army of “murderers” and “torturers” in a video posted on Telegram on Friday, promising them “terribly just punishment”.
The announcement of this gruesome discovery sparked a new wave of outrage in the West, and the Russian army was driven from the vicinity of Kew for more than five months, leaving behind hundreds of civilian corpses, many of them bearing signs of torture. and summary executions, particularly in the area of Bautza.
“The world must respond”
“The world must react to all this. Russia repeated in Issium what it did in Butsa,” Zelensky said in a video message Friday evening, welcoming the U.N.’s announcement that it would send a team to the scene to join the Ukrainian investigation.
The United States and the European Union took the Russian leadership to task and expressed their outrage.
“Russia, its leaders and all those involved in continued violations of international law and international humanitarian law in Ukraine will be held accountable,” European Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Borrell said in a statement on Friday.
On Thursday, before Izioum’s graves and mass graves were discovered, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wanted Russian President Vladimir Putin to appear before international justice for war crimes.
For his part, US President Joe Biden again warned his Russian counterpart against using chemical or nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
“This will change the course of warfare since World War II,” the US president warned during an interview with CBS on Friday evening.
“Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it,” Biden insisted, promising a “substantial” response from the United States if the move was taken.
Fighting and shelling continues on the ground, where Western-armed Ukrainian forces have retaken thousands of square kilometers from a counterattack in the northeast after containing Russian advances in the country’s east.
Svitlana Chpuk, a 42-year-old worker threatened by Russian fire at a hydraulic reservoir upstream of the Inkulets River in the southern town of Krivi Rik, assessed that the Russians were “angry that our army pushed them back in its counterattack.” .
In the Kharkiv region, an 11-year-old girl was killed by a Russian missile attack on the city of Suikiv, Governor Oleg Sinekobov said.
A thermal power plant in Mykolayivka was “bombed by Russian invaders” on Saturday morning, Donetsk Region (East) Governor Pavlo Kyrilenko said in a Telegram, adding that Ukrainian firefighters were working to put out the fire and that the blast had led to cuts. in drinking water.
“The invaders are deliberately targeting the infrastructure in the area and trying to cause as much damage as possible, first to civilians,” he alleged.
He had earlier reported that 2 civilians were killed and 11 injured in Russian fire in the last 24 hours.
In neighboring Dnipropetrovsk, “the Russians opened fire all night with Grads (multiple rocket launchers, editor’s note) and heavy artillery in the Nikopol district”, local governor Valentin Reznitchenko pointed out, causing casualties but no significant material damage.
Mykola Lukacsuk, head of the local assembly, said two people had been killed and three others injured in Russian fire in the past 24 hours.
In the south, “one person died in Dmitrivka after enemy shelling,” said Vitaly Kim, governor of the Mykolaiv region.
The Russian military, which denies targeting civilian infrastructure or residential areas, says from Moscow that it has carried out “high precision” strikes against Ukrainian positions in the Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions.
In Kiev, on Saturday, hundreds of Ukrainians took part in a farewell ceremony for Oleksandr Chaboval, a former soloist at Kiev’s National Opera and then academic Oleksandr Shaboval, who was killed on September 12 at the age of 47 in the east of the country. Russians.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”