More than 500 bodies found in recaptured areas of Kharkiv region in a month

More than 500 bodies found in recaptured areas of Kharkiv region in a month
Emergency workers carry bodies to a refrigerator truck in a cemetery after exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP/PA)

A Ukrainian official has said the bodies of 530 people have been discovered in recaptured areas of Kharkiv region since September 7.

Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Yevhen Yenin said on Friday the bodies included those 225 women, 257 men and 19 children, while 29 bodies have not been identified.

Some 447 of the bodies were found in the mass grave in Izium. Mr Yenin said forensics experts have found indications of “violent death in a considerable number of bodies” including signs of torture.

According to Mr Yenin some bodies “had a rope around their neck, hands tied behind their back, bullet wounds to their knees, and broken ribs”.

A Ukrainian serviceman walks over the remains of Russian aircraft SU-34 near the recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine (Leo Correa/AP/PA)

Overall, 1,350 civilians were killed in the Kharkiv region since the start of the war.

Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Kharkiv region’s State Police Investigative Department, said 22 torture sites were found in recently liberated areas.

Two burial sites were found in the recently recaptured Ukrainian city of Lyman and one of them is a mass grave, authorities said.

The city was recaptured from Russian forces who had occupied it for months.

About 24 kilometres from Lyman, in the recently liberated city of Sviatohirsk, 21 bodies of civilians were reburied.

“While the battles for Sviatohirsk and the occupation continued, the killed people were buried in the streets and yards,” Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on his Telegram site.

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