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Bodies of Ukrainian troops ‘dumped as if they were dogs in ditch’

The woodland was surrounded by rows of crosses, a constant reminder of the death smell.

Every makeshift wooden marker protruded from the earth, where the body was buried.

Some had the names of the deceased while others bore numbers as the identity was not known.

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“There’s a stench of death in the air”

The difficult task of exhuming remains from the mass gravesite at the edge of newly liberated Izyum has been begun by police investigators and forensic specialists.

It contained more than 440 civilians, including women, children and men. There was also a mass grave with at least 17 Ukrainian soldiers.

This discovery was possible only after the Ukrainian forces drove out Russian troops from Izyum last week. The police were able to move in.

One team was assigned to dig up the dead, and they were dressed in light-colored, plastic overalls. They were also armed with shovels.

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They each took turns to dig one of the shallow graves and carefully removed the sandy soil so that each body could be found.

The dead were discarded without the dignity of a coffin.

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Mass burial site for 440 graves

It will take time to determine the cause of each death, but officials stated that they believe some victims were killed by Russian airstrikes and artillery during the past seven months of war.

They claimed that others had been shot to death.

Also, there is suspicion of torture.

According to a top prosecutor, the first body that was recovered had a rope around its neck and signs of having suffered a violent death.

Oleksandr Filchakov said, “I have been working at the prosecutor’s office for twenty years and this is the only time in my entire life that I have ever seen anything similar.” He visited the woodland crime scene located near an actual cemetery.

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Journalists also had access to the facility on Friday.

Multiple bodies were visible, whether they were being pulled from the ground or laying in bags.

Serhii Bolvinov was the chief police investigator in Kharkiv. He stated that the bodies were buried by local grave diggers during the Russian occupation.

If the victim’s identity was not known, the information was recorded in a book with any details, such as gender.

Investigators now have the record books, which lists all the burials at the site.

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City in Izyum is freed at a price

According to the chief investigator, it was 445.

According to police, 17 Ukrainian soldiers were also buried at the site in a single mass burial.

Bolvinov, looking at the civil mass gravesite, said “This is horrible.”

“It’s very painful for us… This spot only appeared because the (Russian] aggressor …. “I am completely lost for words.”

After being lifted from the ground, civilians were placed in black bags while soldiers were placed into white.

They will be taken away for a post-mortem, which will establish the cause of death.

Investigators will also need DNA samples to verify identities and determine who is in anonymous graves. This is a huge task.

Although the chief prosecutor stated that the work would be completed as soon as possible, he stressed that it was not possible to rush the process due to the need for thoroughness and forensic.

When asked if international prosecutors were involved, he replied: “Ofcourse, our international partners help us.”

They are actively involved in our groups. They are currently working in Izyum.

Also, the burial site was a Russian military location with holes dug in the ground to house tanks and other weapons. It also appeared to have a trench that could be fortified for troops.



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A row of houses was located across the street from the site.

A resident who was there during the occupation claimed that locals were forbidden from entering the wooded area.

Serhii Cherniak (61), said that this changed when the Russian tanks, artillery, and artillery moved further back, though it was still during the occupation.

He claimed he went in to get some wood, and saw the mass grave of Ukrainian soldiers.

He condemned the local grave-diggers.

He said, “They didn’t even cover them [the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers] with sacks.”

They were dumped like dogs. It isn’t even a grave. It was a ditch that the Russians used to park their vehicle. They came up and threw them down. Then they sprinkled (the sand).

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