Russia’s War in Ukraine: Live Updates
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said some of the bodies found at a mass burial site in Izium showed “signs of torture”. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged China and India’s “concerns” about the war.
Here are the latest developments:
Horrors in Izium: Ukrainian officials said at least 440 graves had been discovered at a mass burial site in the town of Izium in the recently liberated Kharkiv region. Zelensky said some bodies showed “signs of torture”, while the governor of Kharkiv region claimed that “99% showed signs of violent death”, adding “there are several bodies with their hands tied in the back, and a person is buried with a rope around his neck.”
A United Nations source said a team would soon visit Izium and the surrounding area, and the war crimes investigation team could follow afterwards.
India and China express their concerns: On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin that “today’s era is not one of war” – a significant rebuke from a leader who has remained largely silent on the conflict. And a day earlier, Putin acknowledged Thursday that Chinese President Xi Jinping has “questions and concerns” about the conflict in Ukraine.
Putin speaks of a counter-offensive for the first time: In his first comments after the successful Kyiv counteroffensive in northeastern Ukraine, the Russian leader said that the main objective of Russia’s “special military operation” had not changed and that there was “no rush”.
“Let’s see how it ends,” he added.
The Russian bombardments continue: Much of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region was recaptured by Ukrainian forces, but the army said the liberated areas were now heavily shelled by Russian artillery, causing some injuries. Attacks are also taking place in the Luhansk, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
Russian-backed officials died: The leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said its prosecutor general had been killed in a “terrorist act”, while the head of the Russian-backed administration in the occupied areas of the Zaporizhzhia region said that a senior official had been killed.
Biden to meet families of detained Americans: US President Joe Biden will personally meet the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan at the White House today. The administration has said Biden “isn’t going to give up” on bringing Griner and Whelan back to the United States. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said the issue was “high on my priority list.”
US officials express their frustration with the sanctions: Senior US officials have told CNN they are disappointed that US sanctions have not had a greater impact on the Russian economy so far and are now predicting that the harshest effects are unlikely to materialize until early next year at the earliest.