Nfter the discovery of hundreds of bodies in the eastern Ukrainian city of Izyum, which was liberated from Russian occupation, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv demanded that Moscow be punished for war crimes. The world should not look on as the "terror state" kills and tortures Russia, Zelensky said. Russia must be punished with even tougher sanctions. Currently, more than 440 graves have been found near Izyum in the Kharkiv Liberated Region.
"It is too early to say anything about the number of people buried there, the investigation is ongoing," said Zelenskyy in a Friday evening in Kyiv distributed video message. At the same time, the 44-year-old emphasized: “There is already clear evidence of torture and degrading treatment of people. There is also evidence that Russian soldiers, whose positions were not far from this spot, shot at the buried just for fun.”
Russia acted as in the spring in Bucha, a suburb of the capital Kyiv, where the bound bodies of civilians were found. Zelenskyj welcomed the fact that the United Nations now wants to send experts to record the actions of "Russian terrorists".
US condemns Russian war crimes in Ukraine
The US government described the body finds as "disgusting". "Unfortunately, it fits with the kind of depravity and brutality with which the Russian armed forces are waging this war against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people," said the National Security Council's communications director, John Kirby, on Friday. "It's absolutely depraved and brutal."
It is becoming increasingly obvious what the Russian President is doing Wladimir Putin and his soldiers are capable, he said. The US government will continue to support efforts to document Russian war crimes and atrocities so that those responsible can ultimately be held accountable.
More than 400 bodies have been found in Izyum. According to initial findings, people are said to have died when Russia fired heavily on the city at the end of March. At the end of March, hundreds of dead civilians, some with signs of torture, were also found in the Kiev suburb of Bucha after the withdrawal of Russian troops. Since then, Bucha has been considered a symbol of the most serious war crimes in the Russian war of aggression against the Ukraine.
Zelenskyj reports on rescued students from "torture chamber"
Zelenskyi also reported that after the Russian army withdrew from the Kharkiv region, "torture chambers" were found in cities and towns. There, civilians, including foreigners, were held captive and mistreated. Seven medical students from Sri Lanka who, according to Zelenskyj, were locked in a basement by Russian soldiers in March have been rescued and are now being cared for.
"We will ensure access to tell the world that Russism must be condemned." The world community must react. The President recalled Kiev's initiative for an international tribunal to try Russia for its crime of aggression against Ukraine. At the same time, he reiterated calls for Russians to be banned from traveling to the EU and urged companies to turn their backs on Russia. "When a state takes the path of terror, it is the duty of a self-respecting company to distance itself from such a state."
In defense against the Russian war of aggression launched by Putin at the end of February, Ukraine is primarily relying on the delivery of modern Western weapons. This will lead to a significant strengthening of the Ukrainian army, Zelenskyj emphasized in his video, also with a view to the most recent combat successes.
Bundeswehrverband: No more levies from troop stocks to Ukraine
In the debate about tank deliveries to Ukraine, the German Bundeswehr Association warns against "cannibalizing our troops". “We understand Ukraine's desire for heavy weapons only too well. We can imagine, for example, handing over armored personnel carriers from the stocks of the industry," said André Wüstner, head of the association, to the editorial network Germany. "What is no longer possible from our point of view as a professional association, however, is the surrender of weapons and ammunition of the Bundeswehr. Every single delivery leads to a weakening of the Bundeswehr.”
Ukraine is pushing for more arms deliveries from Germany, including battle tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has so far rejected this. The coalition partners Greens and FDP are also putting pressure on the SPD in this regard.
The FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told the "Mannheimer Morgen" (Saturday): "What Ukraine has achieved so far in terms of military strategy was only possible because Ukraine received the appropriate weapons from the West." Now more material must follow - including the Marder infantry fighting vehicle, "with which the Ukrainian army could move up and specifically attack Russian positions".
On Thursday, the federal government announced that it would provide Ukraine with two more Mars multiple rocket launchers and 50 Dingo armored vehicles. In addition, 200 rockets would be delivered. The armed wheeled transporter Dingo is used for patrol and reconnaissance.
What will be important on Saturday
Investigations into war crimes continue in the Kharkiv region liberated from Russian occupation. Dozens of emergency services are deployed there to recover the bodies. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announced that he wanted to pay special tribute to the work of the rescue workers on Saturday on their official day of honor. They would have saved thousands of lives and ensured the safety of all Ukrainians. At the same time, despite the defeat in the Kharkiv region, Russia announced that hostilities would continue until all goals were achieved.