Ukrainian authorities have uncovered a mass grave with over 440 bodies in the eastern city of Izium, Ukraine's Defense Ministry announced Friday, per CNN.
Izium was recently recaptured from Russian forces, after having been "subject to intense ... artillery attacks" in the spring, CNN writes. The city, nestled near the border between the Kharkiv and Donetsk regious, served as an "important hub" for Putin's offensive "during five months of occupation."
Some of the victims in the mass grave were killed by gunfire, while others died of "so-called mine explosion traumas," Serhii Bolvinov, Kharkiv's chief police investigator, told the United Kingdom's Sky News, per CNN. "Some died because of airstrikes," he continued. "Also we have information that a lot of bodies have not been identified yet. So the reasons of death will be established during the investigations." The buried corpses were also "mostly civilians," according to Ukraine's Center for Stategic Communications, and showed some signs of torture, adds The Associated Press.
Per CNN, Bolvinov believes there could be other mass graves in the Kharkiv area.
"Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izium ... Russia leaves death everywhere. And it must be held accountable for it," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, alluding to tales of similar civilian tragedies from earlier in the invasion, said in a video address on Thursday. "We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to."