Zelensky: 'Why Is This Happening in 2022? This Is Not the 1940s'

Mass graves in Ukraine are still being uncovered
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2022 6:00 PM CDT
Ukraine Is Investigating More Than 12K Killings
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, center, stands on the side of a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, April 28, 2022.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

(Newser) – Igor Kilmenko, Ukraine's national police chief, said Monday that criminal investigations have been opened in the deaths of more than 12,000 Ukrainians since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, including some whose bodies were found in mass graves. He said mass killings were also carried out by snipers firing from tanks and armored personnel carriers, the AP reports. He didn't specify how many of the more than 12,000 were civilians or how many were military. Complete information about the number of bodies in mass graves or elsewhere isn't known, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the American Jewish Committee on Sunday.

Zelensky cited the case of two children who died with their parents in the basement of an apartment building in Mariupol in a Russian bombing. Zelensky, who is Jewish and lost relatives in the Holocaust, asked: "Why is this happening in 2022? This is not the 1940s. How could mass killings, torture, burned cities, and filtration camps set up by the Russian military in the occupied territories resembling Nazi concentration camps come true?"

Workers exhumed bodies from another mass grave near the town of Bucha on Kyiv's outskirts Monday. Workers wearing white hazmat suits and masks used shovels to exhume the bodies from the soil of a pine forest, marking each section with small yellow numbered signs on the ground. "Shots to the knees tell us that people were tortured," Andriy Nebytov, head of the Kyiv regional police, said at the scene. "The hands tied behind the back with tape say that people had been held (hostage) for a long time and (enemy forces) tried to get any information from them."

(Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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