© Reuters. A doll is seen amongst graves, which Ukrainian officers say is a civilian mass grave, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, within the newly recaptured city of Lyman, Donetsk area, Ukraine, October 11, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
By Zohra Bensemra and Abdelaziz Boumzar
LYMAN, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian authorities mentioned on Tuesday they exhumed the our bodies of dozens of individuals, together with civilians and a one-year-old child, to find out the reason for demise following the retreat of Russian troops from two recently-liberated cities within the jap Donetsk area.
“These are native civilians and our defenders, armed forces servicemen,” Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned as forensic employees in white fits moved round one of many websites at a cemetery in Lyman, retaken from Russian forces on Oct. 1.
He mentioned the our bodies of 55 folks had been exhumed within the city, together with civilians. The prosecutor common’s workplace mentioned authorities had counted 110 trenches containing graves, together with some for kids, on the Nova Maslyakivka cemetery.
“The youngest is just one 12 months outdated,” it mentioned in a press release on its web site. “She is buried subsequent to the entire household.”
A doll rested towards the foot of 1 cross marking a grave with the title Yelena Kisil, born Oct. 18, 2019, alongside one other cross marking the grave of Lyudmila Kisil, born March 27, 2021. Each died on Might 24, 2022, in the course of the interval when Russian forces have been battling to grab Lyman.
Kyrylenko mentioned that preliminary outcomes on the 55 exhumed our bodies indicated deaths resulted from “explosive and projectile accidents, bullet accidents”.
“We additionally do not exclude torture, particularly among the many civilian victims,” he mentioned. However solely court docket medical specialists would have the ability to inform for certain, he added.
Reuters couldn’t independently decide the causes or timing of the deaths.
At a separate web site about 20 km (15 miles) to the west within the city of Sviatohirsk, the prosecutor common’s workplace mentioned regulation enforcement officers had exhumed 34 our bodies, a few of which it mentioned confirmed indicators of violent demise, together with gunshot wounds, rib and cranium fractures, and mine and explosive accidents.
“The burnt our bodies of two residents have been additionally present in a automotive,” it mentioned within the assertion. “Their identities are being established.”
Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly accused Russian troops of committing atrocities in occupied territories, a cost Moscow denies.
Final month the our bodies of 436 folks have been exhumed from a burial web site within the northeastern city of Izium after it was liberated. Most appeared to have died violent deaths, native officers mentioned.
(Extra reporting and writing by Elaine Monaghan, Modifying by Rosalba O’Brien)