World NewsUkraine-Russia war: Zelenskyy visits newly liberated Izium, officials decry signs of torture

Ukraine-Russia war: Zelenskyy visits newly liberated Izium, officials decry signs of torture

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday traveled to the lately liberated metropolis of Izium in Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv area after Russian forces withdrew from the realm late final week.

“Earlier than, once we regarded up, we at all times regarded for the blue sky, the solar. And immediately we, and particularly the folks within the quickly occupied territories, wanting up, are searching for just one factor – the flag of our state,” Zelenskyy stated in a flag-raising ceremony.  “Which means that the heroes are right here. Which means that the enemy is gone, he ran away.”

Surrounded by troopers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a nationwide flag-raising ceremony within the freed Izium, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.
(AP Photograph/Leo Correa)

UKRAINE’S SOLDIERS INCH TOWARD SIEVIERODONETSK IN MAJOR COUNTEROFFENSIVE

Ukrainian forces have regained massive swaths of territory in Kharkiv after Kyiv launched a serious counteroffensive earlier this month.

Western protection officers have stated Ukraine is gaining floor and has compelled some Russian forces again throughout their very own border. 

However as Zelenskyy championed the successes Ukraine has achieved, he additionally famous the devastation Russia left in its wake following a six-month occupation. 

A Ukrainian soldier holds up a dirty Russian flag in Izium, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.

A Ukrainian soldier holds up a unclean Russian flag in Izium, Kharkiv area, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.
(AP Photograph/Kostiantyn Liberov)

Footage launched following Russia’s withdrawal present buildings blackened and destroyed by shelling, animals wandering the streets and, in response to officers, indicators of torture among the many useless.

“The view may be very surprising however it isn’t surprising for me,” Zelenskyy advised reporters, “as a result of we started to see the identical footage from Bucha, from the primary de-occupied territories… so the identical destroyed buildings, killed folks.”

The Ukrainian president’s feedback had been in reference to the village of Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, the place our bodies had been discovered within the streets, mass graves had been found and a number of other reviews of torture had been advised after Russia withdrew its forces in March.

A Ukrainian soldier stands in Izium, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.

A Ukrainian soldier stands in Izium, Kharkiv area, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.
(AP Photograph/Kostiantyn Liberov)

RUSSIAN TROOPS PULL BACK AS UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS RETAKE KEY AREAS IN KHARKIV

“We have now a horrible image of what the occupiers did, notably within the Kharkiv area. Such cities as Balakliia, Izium are standing in the identical row as Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpin,” Prosecutor Common Andriy Kostin stated. 

The pinnacle of the Kharkiv prosecutor’s workplace, Oleksandr Filchakov, stated investigators had been wanting into reviews of civilians being killed and buried by Russian troopers within the city of Balakliia – one other city that has been retaken by Ukrainian forces within the Kharkiv area.

Civilian our bodies had been discovered within the cities of Hrakove and Zaliznyche as nicely.

A Ukrainian soldier takes a rest on the steps of the City Hall in Izium, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.

A Ukrainian soldier takes a relaxation on the steps of the Metropolis Corridor in Izium, Kharkiv area, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022.
(AP Photograph/Kostiantyn Liberov)

Ukrainian officers stated Wednesday that quite a few investigations have been opened over accusations of human rights violations. 

Zelenskyy thanked his troops for his or her efforts within the laborious fought struggle towards Russia and in retaking a number of strategically vital Ukrainian cities. 

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy poses with soldiers after attending a flag-raising ceremony in Izium, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy poses with troopers after attending a flag-raising ceremony in Izium, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.
(AP Photograph/Leo Correa)

“The previous couple of months have been extraordinarily troublesome for you. Subsequently, I’m asking you very a lot [to] maintain your self, as a result of you’re the most dear factor that now we have,” he stated. “It’s attainable to quickly occupy the territories of our state.

“However it’s undoubtedly unattainable to occupy our folks, the Ukrainian folks,” he added.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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