Residents of liberated Izyum in northeast Ukraine walk through devastation by Russian occupiers
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1430 GMT:
A Russian rocket attack has killed an 11-year-old girl and injured a woman in the city of Chuhuiv in the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine.
Governor Oleg Synegubov said the attack damagaed “critical infrastructure, the private sector, an enterprise, and a gas station.”
UPDATE 1044 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks across the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed two people and injured 11.
Governor Pavlo Kyrolenko said the night “passed relatively calmly” and there were only “isolated” shelling on the frontline of Russia’s stalled offensive.
UPDATE 0744 GMT:
Ukraine has again pressed Germany for the delivery of battle tanks.
Berlin announced this week that it is sending more Gepard anti-aircraft guns, multiple rocket launchers, and Dingo armored troops carriers to Kyiv. However, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht reiterated that Germany would not provide tanks or more advanced armored vehicles, saying that allies had not provided similar armaments either.
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
We ask for Leopard tanks and Marder [armored vehicles] and Germany supplies armored vehicles of the Dingo type.
We are grateful for them. But that is not what we need most in combat….What is the problem? Why can’t we get what we need, and what Germany has?
UPDATE 0724 GMT:
Vladimir Putin has suffered a series of snubs by fellow leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan, highlighting Russia’s growing isolation in its struggling invasion of Ukraine.
While emphasizing “sovereignty” — in the context of China’s claims to Taiwan — Chinese leader Xi Jinping did not mention Ukraine once in his conversation with Putin, according to Beijing’s readout of the meeting.
Xi’s caution towards Putin was in marked contrast to his enthusiastic encounter with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, a sign of China’s pursuit of influence in Asia at the expense of Moscow.
At the start of the year, Putin sent in troops to bolster Tokayev against mass protests that threatened his hold on power. However, the Kazakh Government has distanced itself from support of the invasion of Ukraine.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bluntly told Putin that now is not the time for war, calling for the “move onto a path of peace” with “democracy, diplomacy and dialogue”.
India has refrained from criticism of the invasion, abstaining on UN motions and opposing sanctions. Delhi has also assisted Russia by stepping up purchases of oil.
Even the summit’s host Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic, jabbed at the Russian leader. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev warmed greeted China’s Xi, who quoted the medieval poet Alisher Navoi, revered in Uzbekistan, “There’s nothing better than living in friendship.”
In contrast, Mirziyoyev was absent when Putin’s plane landed in Samarkand. Prime Minister Abdulla Oripov was despatched to receive the Russian.
UPDATE 0626 GMT:
In his first comment on Ukraine’s successful counter-offensive in the northeast, Vladimir Putin has brushed off the Ukrainian liberation of 8,000 square km (3,088 sq miles).
Speaking from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan, he said, “The Kyiv authorities announced that they have launched and are conducting an active counter-offensive operation. Well, let’s see how it develops, how it ends up.”
He declared that Russia’s “special military operation…is not subject to adjustment”, insisting, “The main task remains unchanged, and it is being implemented. The main goal is the liberation of the entire territory of Donbas.”
But he tipped off his concern when referring to Russia’s retaliation with missile strikes on civilian areas in northeast, east, and south Ukraine: “If the situation continues to develop like this, then the response will be more serious.”
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukrainian officials are documenting the mass killing of people in Izyum, the city in northeast Ukraine liberated from Russian occupation last weekend.
The officials said 99% of bodies, being exhumed from a mass grave with more than 440 victims, show signs of violent death. While some appeared to have been slain by shelling or airstrikes, others had been shot and some showed signs of torture.
Oleg Synegubov, the governor of the Kharkiv region, said, “There are several bodies with their hands tied behind their backs, and one person is buried with a rope around his neck. Obviously, these people were tortured and executed. Each fact will be investigated and will be properly and legally evaluated.”
Ukraine police chief Ihor Klymenko said all of the bodies recovered so far appear to be of civilians, although some soldiers may have been buried there too.
Most of those buried in the forest outside the city have only numbers as identifiers. A Russian description of one plot says 17 troops are interred, although Ukrainian officials said it held 25 and possibly 30 bodies.
Exhumation of hundreds of unmarked graves near Izyum. Witnesses confirmed to me that they saw people being shot on the streets by Russians. Others died from shelling and a lack of access to healthcare. So horrible, I can hardly breath. pic.twitter.com/BeCf21FBuO
— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) September 16, 2022
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote:
Posting images of exhumed bodies, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote:
The whole world should see this.
A world in which there should be no cruelty and terrorism. But all this is there. And its name is Russia.
Russia leaves only death and suffering. Murderers. Torturers. Deprived of everything human. You won’t run away. You won’t hide. Retribution will be justly dreadful. For every Ukrainian, for every tortured soul.
Local officials say that more than 1,000 people perished during the Russian assault and the occupation from early April until last week.
The Kremlin made no direct comment on the revelation of the mass killing. Instead, Russian State media featured the statement of Alexander Malkevich, a member of the Russian Civic Chamber:
We are being shown multiple graves, they begin to dig them up, show the bodies. Actually, Russian troops and frequently the officials from military-civilian administrations were burying those killed Ukrainian soldiers that were abandoned on a battlefield by their so-called comrades.
Now they are being passed off as the victims of Russian repressions while actually those are the Ukrainians whom their so-called comrades-in-arms didn’t care about.