Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the exact number of bodies in Lyman’s mass grave was not yet known.
The Ukrainian authorities have found a mass grave in the recently liberated eastern town of Lyman and it is unclear how many bodies he is holding, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
Kyrylenko, the governor of the eastern province of Donetsk, wrote on Telegram on Friday that Lyman officials had found “a mass grave where, according to local reports, there may be both soldiers and civilians. The exact number remains to be determined.
In a separate report, the Ukrinform news agency quoted a senior police official as saying the grave contained 180 bodies. The Kyiv Post also tweeted that a mass grave was discovered at Lyman “where 180 bodies are buried”, including very young children.
Ukrainian troops retook Lyman, in the Donetsk region, from Russian control last weekend.
📸 In #Lyman, #Ukrainian authorities found a mass grave where 180 bodies are buried.
Some of them are children born between 2019 and 2021.
Photos: Donbas Realii pic.twitter.com/2nVAI8h21K
— KyivPost (@KyivPost) October 7, 2022
Ukrainian authorities have regularly accused Russian troops of commit atrocities in the occupied territories, a charge that Moscow denies.
Last month, the bodies of 436 people were exhumed from a burial site in the northeast town of Izyum after it was liberated. Most appear to have died violent deaths, local officials said.
The discovery of Izyum prompted the European Union to call for a war crimes tribunal in Ukraine and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has sent its largest team of experts to investigate alleged war crimes since the start of the Russian invasion in February.
United Nations investigators have already concluded that war crimes have been committed in the Ukrainian conflict, including Russian shelling of civilian areas, executions, torture and sexual violence.
The UK and the Netherlands have also sent war crimes investigators to Ukraine to help local and ICC teams investigate possible mass atrocities, including in the Kyiv city of Buchawhere civilians were discovered murdered in April.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that Ukrainian forces had now retaken nearly 2,500 square kilometers (965 square miles) of territory from Russia in the counter-offensive which began at the end of last month.
“A total of 2,434 square kilometers of our land and 96 settlements have already been liberated since the start of this offensive operation,” Zelenskyy said in his daily speech shared on social media.
Russian forces said earlier on Friday they had captured ground in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, their first claim of battlefield gains since Kyiv gained momentum with its counteroffensive flash that profoundly shook Russia’s war effort.