Ukrainian authorities find mass grave in liberated eastern town

Ukrainian authorities have found a mass grave in the recently liberated eastern town of Lyman and it is unclear how many bodies it holds.

Smoke rises over the remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, June 17, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK/FILE PHOTO)
Smoke rises over the remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, June 17, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK/FILE PHOTO)

Ukrainian authorities have found a mass grave in the recently liberated eastern town of Lyman and it is unclear how many bodies it holds, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in an online post on Friday.

Separately, the Ukrinform news agency cited a senior police official as saying the grave contained 180 bodies. Ukrainian troops retook Lyman, in the Donetsk region, from Russian control on Saturday.

Ukrainian authorities have regularly accused Russian troops of committing atrocities in occupied territories, a charge Moscow denies.

Last month the bodies of 436 people were exhumed from a burial site in the northeastern town of Izium after it was liberated. Most appeared to have died violent deaths, local officials said.

Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk, wrote on Telegram that officials in Lyman had found "a mass grave where, according to local information, there could be both soldiers and civilians. The exact number is yet to be ascertained".

 A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022.  (credit: Press service of the National Police of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS) A view shows cars and a building of a hospital destroyed by an aviation strike amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022. (credit: Press service of the National Police of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

He said a second burial site with 200 graves had also been found, containing the bodies of civilians. It was not clear from his comments how or when they had died.