Day 205 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Mass Grave Discovered in IzyumUkraine | September 16, 2022, Friday // 10:25| views
VSU (Ukrainian Armed Forces) - 17 people, written on the cross of the nameless grave @Nastojastchee Vremya
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
A mass grave was discovered in Izyum, the Ukrainian authorities announced
Ukrainian authorities have discovered a mass grave containing more than 440 bodies in the town of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast, which was recaptured from the Russian forces days ago, officials said. Some of the people were killed in shelling and airstrikes, police said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky compared the discovery of a mass grave in Izyum to the deaths in the cities of Bucha and Mariupol, which have become symbols of Russian atrocities.
"We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to. Bucha, Mariupol and now, unfortunately, Izyum. Russia is leaving death everywhere in its wake. It must be held accountable. The world must seek real responsibility from Russia for this war," Zelensky emphasized in his address to Ukrainians. He added that more information on the case is expected later today.
Crosses have been hastily placed on the graves, some of them have surnames, others only numbers.
"When there was shelling when the Russian occupiers captured Izyum, there was a lot of shelling, people were dying right on the streets. The funeral services did not know what these people were, but they took them and buried them in this cemetery. Most, I think, died during the Russian shelling. We understand this from the dates, they died while they were hitting the city with artillery," said plenipotentiary Oleg Kotenko, quoted by "Nastojastchee Vremya".
Kyiv's plenipotentiary hopes the authorities have kept some sort of register to help determine where people buried in the forest cemetery died.
“I think it was a violent death and I think it was the result of artillery fire. I don't want to call this Bucha, here we have, let's call it, more civilized buried people. I don't even want to think about it, but it seems to me that there are also buried children," added Kotenko.
In one of the graves, on which there is an inscription "VSU (Ukrainian Armed Forces) - 17 people", 20-25 people are buried.
The municipal councilor from the Izyum City Council, Maxim Strelnik, had previously announced that during the Russian occupation, no less than 1,000 civilians had died in the city and more than 80 percent of the infrastructure had been destroyed. Izyum was liberated by units of the VSU and the National Guard on September 10.
Procedural-investigative activities have been undertaken. The chief police investigator for the Kharkiv region, Serhiy Bolvinov, told the British television "Sky News" that the remains will be the subject of an investigation in order to collect evidence of war crimes committed by Russia. Ukrainian and international journalists are expected to visit the site today.
Ukrainian police are also aware that there are a number of other mass graves in the Kharkiv region after the region was under Russian control for several months, investigator Bolinov added.
Yesterday, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited Kyiv and announced aid of 100 million euros for the reconstruction of Ukrainian schools, which suffered because of the military actions.
The US also said it was providing $600 million in new military aid to Ukraine to help the Ukrainian military fight Russian forces. The assistance takes the form of equipment, services and training.
US announces USD 600 million additional military package for Ukraine
US will provide USD 600 million in additional military assistance for Ukraine, the State Department said on Friday (local time).
US State Secretary Antony Blinken said, "I am authorizing our twenty-first drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine since September 2021. This USD 600 million drawdown includes additional arms, munitions, and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories." "This drawdown will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to approximately USD 15.8 billion since the beginning of this Administration."
He noted that together with Allies and partners, the US is delivering the arms and equipment that Ukraine's forces are utilizing so effectively as they continue their successful counter-offensive against Russia's invasion.
Quoting President Joe Biden, Blinken said that the President has been clear that the US will support the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.
"With admirable grit and determination, the people of Ukraine are defending their homeland and fighting for their future. The United States is providing Ukraine military assistance alongside our Allies and partners from more than 50 countries to support its defense. The capabilities we are delivering are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine's hand at the negotiating table when the time is right," he added.
Blinken reiterated that the US along with the allies stands United with Ukraine.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine's breakaway regions - Donetsk and Luhansk - as independent entities.
Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised to help Ukraine with military aid to fight Russia.
Moscow: Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline from Russia to China could replace Nord Stream 2
The Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, designed to supply gas to China, can actually replace Russia's Nord Stream 2, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on the Rossiya 1 TV channel.
Earlier on Thursday, Novak said a final agreement with China on Power of Siberia 2, which provides for supplies of 50 billion cubic meters of gas per year, is expected soon. "Gazprom" noted that the PRC increased its offers for the supply of fuel through the specified pipeline, regularly exceeding daily contracts in September.
"Power of Siberia-2" is a planned gas pipeline between the Siberian fields and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China. The planned start date for the construction of the pipeline is 2024.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is 2,460 kilometers long and runs under the Baltic Sea. It was supposed to transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Germany. The infrastructure was ready for operation as early as September last year, but on February 22, after Russia recognized the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the certification of the new gas pipeline.
But as Russian President Vladimir Putin noted, Nord Stream 2 was not built in vain; it will be launched "when needed".
A Russian Kinzhal missile fell on Russian territory in the Starvopol region and injured six locals
Russia has "struck" with a Kinzhal hypersonic missile the area of the village of Kendzhe-Kulak in the Turkmen District of the Stavropol Region of the Russian Federation, the Dumskaya news portal reported. Six people who came to the scene to see what happened were injured.
Telegram channel "Baza" claims that the incident happened on September 14, but it became known after Stavropol Governor Vladimir Vladimirov released photos from the scene.
Initially, on the occasion of an incident in the Stavropol region, Russian social networks speculated that a Ukrainian Tu-141 drone had been shot down, but the actual findings at the site of the explosion did not confirm the incident. Not a single element was found that even remotely resembled a piece of the Tu-141. The Russian media then shared the amusing peacetime claim that a UFO had been sighted in the area.
It turned out that it was an X47m2 "Kinzhal" (Dagger), which was launched from the territory of the Caspian Sea and was supposed to hit a target in Ukraine, but on the way it fell near the village of Kendzhe-Kulak. Six people arrived at the scene - five civilian local residents and one firefighter who wanted to see what happened. Just at that moment, with a delay, the rocket exploded, and the six were injured.
It is possible that the Kinzhal was a stray missile that did not reach Kryvyi Rih in the September 14 attacks. Then the Russian army hit Zelensky's hometown with the "Kinzhal". Dumskaya points out that the missile's crash site is 200 kilometers from the nearby base of the MiG-31s, which are armed with hypersonic missiles.
Kendzhe-Kulak falls along the trajectory of the X-47m2 missile, which was most likely fired by a Russian MiG-31 over the Caspian Sea.
Prigozhin recruits thousands of prisoners for "Wagner" (VIDEO)
The Russian businessman and owner of the private military company "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin is recruiting thousands of prisoners for the war against Ukraine, "Gordon" reported.
On Wednesday, Alexei Navalny's team published a video on its Telegram channel claiming that Prigozhin, also known as "Putin's cook", was personally recruiting prisoners from one of the colonies of the Mari El Republic for the war with Ukraine.
For the first time, a video emerges of a recruitment talk for Wagner by Prigozhin in a Russian prison camp. Absolutely bonkers. “Nobody goes back behind bars. If you serve six months, you are free. If you arrive in Ukraine and decide it’s not for you, we execute you.” pic.twitter.com/9rlAbhKaQW— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) September 14, 2022
In the clip, a man who looks like Prigozhin is seen standing in front of a line of men in prison uniforms and explaining the conditions for sending them to war. Convicts who agree to participate in hostilities will remain at the front for six months; if such mercenary is under the age of 22, then the written consent of relatives is required; during the service, robbery, consumption of alcohol and drugs, "sexual contact" with the local population, as well as "retreat and surrender" are prohibited. Desertion is punishable by firing on the spot.
For those prisoners who remained alive after six months, the recruiter promised a pardon or, if desired, continued military service. According to some reports, about two hundred convicts agreed to the offer to go to war in exchange for a pardon, reports the Russian version of "Free Europe".
Earlier in the media, information repeatedly appeared about the recruitment of Russian prisoners to participate in military operations on the territory of Ukraine, as well as about the fact that Yevgeny Prigozhin personally participated in the search for mercenaries. In particular, it is reported about his visits to three colonies in the Ivanovo region, where he managed to recruit 650 people, as well as to two colonies in the Rostov region, after which about a thousand mercenaries joined "Wagner". Prigozhin is said to have told the prisoners that during the hostilities they could do with the Ukrainians "whatever they wanted and they would not get anything for it".
The businessman commented on Navalny's video on the page of his own company, Concord.
"Those who do not want prisoners to fight in the PMC, who talk about this topic, who do not want to do anything and generally do not like this topic - send your children to the front. Either the PMC together with prisoners or your children - you decide".
Prigozhin also said that if he himself were a prisoner, he would "dream of joining the friendly team" of PMC Wagner, "so that he could not only redeem the debt to the Motherland but also repay it with a vengeance."
The news about Prigozhin's decision to hire prisoners was also commented on by the activist and head of the “Russia Behind Bars " fund Olga Romanova.
"They take whoever they find, but they prefer murderers and those who have been involved in robberies. They also take in those who have gone to prison for causing grievous bodily harm. They have also become brothers with people who have been convicted of rape, but they are in a separate squad".
Romanova points out that a "maniac" who "has cannibalism in his portfolio" has joined the Russian ranks. According to her, "Wagner" has launched a campaign to recruit "cannon fodder” and is already going "second and third time" through prisons.
The Pope called it "morally acceptable" for Ukraine to receive weapons for self-defense
“Supplying weapons to Ukraine is morally acceptable if they are used for self-defense”. This was stated by Pope Francis during the flight on which he traveled from Kazakhstan to Rome after participating in a high-level meeting of religious leaders in the Central Asian country, DPA reported.
"It would be immoral to supply weapons with the intention of provoking more war, to sell more weapons or to get rid of old weapons," the pope said in response to a question from a journalist accompanying him on the plane.
Speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Francis said that self-defense was not only justified, but also a proof of love for one's home. "People defended what they loved," the pope said.
The Pope also called for more efforts to achieve world peace. "Everyone talks about peace. For 70 years the UN has talked about peace and has done many things. But how many wars are still raging today?" the Pope said. And using his oft-repeated line, he added: "We are in a world war."
The Pope reiterated his support for dialogue to end the war in Ukraine. "Dialogue should not be excluded, even with the aggressor, although it may seem undesirable and repugnant to a person," he said.
However, the Pope's repeated calls for dialogue with Moscow and with the Russian Patriarch Kirill arouse criticism in Ukraine, the agency notes.
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