In the city of Izyum in eastern Ukraine, bodies continue to be removed from a mass grave that was found after the Russian occupation forces hastily withdrew from the area. “There are 445 graves and more that have been found, but there are more people in some of them, so it is likely that the number of victims is greater than 445. In addition to 17 soldiers from the mass grave,” said reporter Martin Dorazin, who returned directly from the scene.




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Unidentified graves of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers in a cemetery in the recently recovered Izgum region of Ukraine | Photo: Evgeniy Maloletka | Source: ČTK / AP

The graves are marked with wooden crosses, most of which are missing from the names. “Wherever there are names and dates of birth, they are often old people who could have died already at the beginning of the conflict when the Russians were occupying Izgom. Then there are the young men who died during the bombing, no doubt. And the third category is the people who were tortured by the Russians.”

Listen to Lukáš Matoška’s full interview. The guest is Martin Dorazin, special correspondent in Ukraine

Some of the bodies were handcuffed, decapitated, or otherwise mutilated, and some were tortured with electric current. The exhumations will continue for a few more days, and teams of excavators, experts and forensic doctors are working here with the help of prosecutors and policemen from the Special Police Department of War Crimes in Kyiv.

People whose neighbors or known to the Russians reported that they took part in the so-called anti-terror operation in Donbass after 2014, police officers, officials and pro-Ukrainian activists are said to have ended up in torture chambers.

“It was not one interrogation room, but around the city, as the locals told me, there were others in the cellars. The reporter says: “Now the criminal officers work there and secure the relics, because the Russians did not have much time to erase them, they disappeared from the city between overnight.”

Packing is fearless

Dorazin describes that Izgom, formerly with a population of fifty thousand, turned into a large military base during the occupation, and movement around the city was practically impossible.

Putin said Russia could deploy all weapons, including nuclear weapons. ”


Martin Dorazin

“People have the worst experiences when meeting fighters from separatist republics, this was also confirmed elsewhere in Ukraine. The Russians tried to behave somewhat humanely, but the Buryats behaved like animals, and the worst were often drunk or drugged members of the Donetsk and Luhansk militias. They looted apartments, confiscated cars, and took what they liked. They were wary of them in Izjam.”

The successful Ukrainian attack is said to have caused cautious optimism among the population. Even the partial mobilization in Russia announced on Wednesday was met with sarcastic and cynical reactions in Ukraine.


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It is clear from those comments that they will continue to fight and will not be intimidated. Even military experts understand that rallying 300,000 people and bringing them to Ukraine would be suicidal for them, ”warns Dorazin – according to Internet search engines, the Russians are now interested in how to avoid mobilization or leave the country.

The announced referendums in the breakaway regions are then seen as a desperate attempt by Russia at the last minute to reverse the unfavorable developments. “The Ukrainians are now afraid of the Russian reaction if they continue to attack the lands they own. Putin said that Russia can deploy all weapons, including nuclear weapons. This causes a little tension, but it will not stop the defensive war on the part of Ukraine,” he added.

Listen to the recording of the Plus interview. Managed by Lukas Matusca.

Lukáš Matoska, ert

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