The White House called “terrifying” reports of a mass grave in Izyum

The White House called “terrifying” reports of a mass grave in Izyum

White House called 'terrifying' reports of mass grave in Izyum

John Kirby   The White House called «terrifying» mass grave reports in Izyum

The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications said on Thursday that some of the more than 400 graves found in Izyum were «fresh» and that the bodies buried there belong «mostly to civilians».

Reports of a mass grave of more than 440 bodies in the recaptured city of Izyum in eastern Ukraine from Russian troops “horrified” the Joe Biden administration. National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said this at the White House's daily press briefing Friday afternoon.

The White House called reports of a mass grave in Ukraine “disgusting” and “terrifying”.

Kirby said the discovery, according to Ukrainian officials, of at least 440 graves at the site “is consistent with… the brutality with which Russian forces are waging this war against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” Kirby said the United States will continue to “strongly support efforts to document war crimes and atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine and to assist national and international efforts to identify and hold Russians accountable.”

Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications said on Thursday that some of the graves found in Izyum were “fresh” and that the bodies buried there belong to “mostly civilians.”

The Ukrainian authorities also said today that most of the dead in Izium were civilians, and that this proves that war crimes were committed by the Russian military, who have occupied the area for several months.

“We are at the site of a mass burials of people, civilians who were buried here, and according to our data, they all have signs of violent death,” said the head of the administration of the Kharkiv region Oleg Sinegubov. – There are bodies with hands tied behind (behind the back). Each fact will be investigated and will receive a proper and legal assessment.

“Russia reserves death everywhere and must bear responsibility for it,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message.

The site in Izyum, a former Russian frontline stronghold, is the largest mass grave discovered in Europe since Balkan wars in the 1990s. Ukrainian forces recaptured Izyum in a counteroffensive in September.

Russia denies that its occupying forces committed any atrocities. The head of the pro-Russian administration, who fled the area last week, Vitaly Ganchev, according to the Russian state news agency TASS, blames Ukrainian forces for the killings and attempts to shift the blame to Moscow.

“It was clear to us that Ukraine would try repeat Buchi's scenario. Now we have it in Izyum,” he said, comparing the situation to a city north of Kyiv, where hundreds of bodies were found after Russian troops left the area in March. Moscow claimed that these killings were staged by Ukraine. Kyiv and international investigators denied this accusation.