Bodies of tortured victims of Russian occupation found in Kharkiv Oblast

10 September, 12:00 PM
In de-occupied Hrakovo, the bodies of two murdered men were exhumed (Photo:Oleksandra Novosel/Suspilne)

In de-occupied Hrakovo, the bodies of two murdered men were exhumed (Photo:Oleksandra Novosel/Suspilne)

Police have exhumed bodies of two men, tortured and killed by Russian troops in the recently-liberated village of Hrakove, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne reported on Sept. 9. A Hrakove resident said that Russian troops made him bury the bodies.

Kharkiv police chief Volodymyr Tymoshko said the murdered victims were not from Hrakove. Their bodies bear signs of torture and gunshot wounds.

Hrakove resident Serhiy Lutsan alerted law enforcement of the burial site, once the village was liberated from Russian forces.

“This was in mid- or late March,” said Lutsan.

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“Soldiers approached me, threatened me with weapons, brought me to where they have bodies of two young men. I’ve lived here for seven years, and I didn’t know who they were. They had to be buried.”

Lutsan added that Russian troops brought destruction to Hrakove, and prevented locals from fleeing to Ukraine-controlled territory.

Police will examine two more sites in Hrakove, where Russians reportedly engaged in atrocities – once the area is swept for landmines, chief police detective of Kharkiv Oblast, Serhiy Bolvinov said.

Hrakove fell to invading Russian forces on Feb. 25. Around 40 people remain in the village; they are receiving humanitarian assistance.

Ukrainian forces have liberated more than 30 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast, as Russian lines in the area around the town of Izyum are apparently collapsing.

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