Graves exhumed and Putin on counter-offensive - Ukraine round-up

A day after announcing the discovery of hundreds of graves near the recently liberated city of Izyum, on Friday Ukrainian emergency workers began the grim task of exhuming them in order to establish the cause of death of their occupants.

массовые захоронения в изюме

массовые захоронения в изюме


The site, marked by hundreds of wooden crosses, was discovered by advancing Ukrainian forces as they retook territory from Russia in the Kharkiv region.

It is not clear yet what happened to all of the victims, but officials believe there is no doubt war crimes were committed.

“In the first grave, there is a civilian who has a rope over her neck. So we see the traces of torture,” Kharkiv regional prosecutor Olexander Ilyenkov told the BBC’s Orla Guerin, who visited the site while the exhumations were taking place.

You can read Orla’s full report from the scene here.

Putin breaks silence on counter-offensive

Counter-offensive won't change Russia's plans – Putin

Counter-offensive won’t change Russia’s plans – Putin© Getty Images

The discovery of the graves near Izyum came as Ukrainian troops retook the area from Russian forces, who occupied the city in April.

Ukraine’s lightning-fast September counter-offensive brought thousands of square kilometres of territory back under Ukrainian control – a major setback for Russia.

On Friday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made his first comments on the matter, saying that Russia’s plan had not changed.

He said that his forces were still making progress in the eastern Donbas region, which remains the priority.