Czech EU presidency calls for war crimes tribunal over Russia’s actions in Izyum – POLITICO

The Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, current holder of the EU Council Presidency, has called for a “special international tribunal” after evidence of torture on civilians emerged from a burial site of mass in Izyum, in northeastern Ukraine.

“Russia left behind mass graves of hundreds of people slaughtered and tortured in the Izyum region. In the 21st century, such attacks on the civilian population are unthinkable and heinous,” Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said. written in a Twitter thread Saturday. “We advocate the punishment of all war criminals. I call for the rapid establishment of a special international tribunal that will prosecute the crime of aggression,” he said.

Izyum was one of Moscow’s main strongholds in the region until September 10, when a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at retaking the Kharkiv region drove Russian troops from the city. Following the discovery of a mass grave in a nearby wood containing the remains of more than 440 people – mostly civilians – Ukrainian forces began exhuming the bodies on Friday.

According to Ukrainian officials, some of the bodies found so far show signs of torture. The head of the Kharkiv region prosecutor’s office told Reuters news agency that one body had apparently been tied up with ropes around his neck and hands, and other bodies showed signs of abuse.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of having “repeated in Izyum what it did in Bucha”, in reference to the city in the Kyiv region where more than 450 Ukrainian civilians were found dead after several weeks of death. Russian occupation. Ukraine has filed a war crimes complaint against Moscow for the Bucha killings.

“The exhumation of the bodies continues at a mass burial site near Izyum,” Zelenskyy said in one of his usual late-night speeches on Friday. “To date, more than 440 graves have been discovered. It is too early to say how many people are buried there; investigations are ongoing,” he said.

“There is already clear evidence of torture,” Zelensky said. “Furthermore, there is evidence that Russian soldiers, whose positions were not far from this place, shot at the buried just for fun.”

He added that UN workers will soon visit Izyum and report on what happened in the town. US broadcaster CNN reported on Saturday, citing people at the UN, that staff from the UN’s human rights monitoring unit, OCHR, were preparing to visit the area. .


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