In a recaptured village, Ukraine investigates a gruesome war crime

Kharkiv Oblast police and prosecutors carried out the exhumation in the village of Grakov in the presence of around 20 journalists. A resident of the village, Sergiy Lutsaj, told reporters that Russian soldiers forced him to bury the bodies at gunpoint shortly after February 24. the Russian invasion began.

“They came to my house, I was with my 70-year-old father,” he said. – I was afraid that they would threaten him. They told me to go and dig a hole.” He did not confirm the police statement that at least one of the two victims had their ears cut off. He said he did not know either of the victims, but both appeared to be in their twenties. Prosecutors will arrange an autopsy to determine how the two men died and take a statement from a villager, a member of the investigation team told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Fierce fighting took place in the countryside during the first weeks of the invasion. Many buildings, including houses, were damaged, and the church bell was partially destroyed. Police warned journalists not to stray from the road or enter abandoned houses, as the village has not yet been fully demined.

Ukrainians have announced significant gains in recapturing territory from Russian forces in a recent offensive in the eastern Kharkiv region. Ukraine accuses Russian forces of numerous war crimes in the suburbs of Kyiv, which it retook in March. Ukraine regained the territory after Moscow withdrew its forces after a failed attempt to capture the capital invasions at the beginning

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