Calls for war crimes tribunal against Russia grow after mass graves found in liberated Izyum

Calls for war crimes tribunal against Russia grow after mass graves found in liberated Izyum
Image via Creative Commons.

The Czech Republic's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský, who also serves as the presidency of the Council of the European Union, has called for a “special international tribunal" to investigate Russia for suspected war crimes in the liberated Ukrainian city of Izyum.

"Russia left behind mass graves of hundreds of shot and tortured people in the Izyum area. In the 21st century, such attacks against the civilian population are unthinkable and abhorrent. We must not overlook it. We stand for the punishment of all war criminals," Lipavský tweeted on Saturday. "I call for the speedy establishment of a special international tribunal that will prosecute the crime of aggression."

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby echoed Lipavský's demand.

READ MORE: 'We have to kill them': Russian mercenary holds up skull while bragging about slaughtering Ukrainians

"We're going to continue to actively support efforts to document war crimes and atrocities that Russian forces commit in Ukraine and to assist national and international efforts to identify and hold Russians accountable," he said.

“Exhumation work continued today in Izium,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Telegram. “New evidence of the torture used against the people buried there has been found."

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported over the weekend that the Ukrainian emergency response crews have been "trying to establish the cause of death of hundreds of people buried in a forest at the edge of the city" following the ousting of Russia's invading forces by the Ukrainian resistance's counteroffensive.

Izyum, located south of Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine, has been under Russian control since April.

READ MORE: Congress asks social media companies to archive evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine

"The burial ground - beside an existing cemetery - contains row after row of graves, marked by crude wooden crosses. Names were written on a few, but most were marked only by a number. The burials here were carried out under the orders of the Russians when they were in control," the BBC noted. "Ukrainian police say there are 445 new graves at the site, but some contain more than one body. It's unclear how all of them died. Many are said to be civilians, women and children among them."

The latest atrocities are reminiscent of the butchery that was discovered in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha earlier this year.

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