Mass graves unearthed in Ukraine’s Izyum after Russian retreat

Investigators are working to exhume bodies from a makeshift gravesite in the eastern Ukrainian city of Izyum after it was liberated from Russian control.

IZYUM, Ukraine — The stench of death hangs over a small forest in northeastern Ukraine.

Already, hundreds of bodies have been retrieved, including those of children, Ukrainian forensic technicians here say.

Here in Izyum, one of 20 towns and cities liberated in the recent surprise Ukrainian counteroffensive, investigators are struggling to keep count of the bodies being recovered from beneath the forest floor.

More than a dozen sweat-soaked workers, wearing bulletproof vests and helmets under their biohazard suits, exhumed bodies from a makeshift gravesite over the weekend, taking frequent cigarette breaks. One worker was seen dry-heaving multiple times. 

Police officers and war crimes prosecutors from the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office looked on, along with local residents searching for graves as they walked around. None reacted as the sound of bombing was frequently heard in the distance.

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Moscow, Moskva

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