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More than 530 bodies were exhumed in the Kherson region – Obozrevatel

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Ukrainian authorities have exhumed more than 530 bodies of civilians in territories reclaimed from Russian troops in the country’s northeast since the start of its military counteroffensive, Kharkiv police said on Thursday.

We counted and removed from the liberated territories the bodies of 534 civilians, including 226 women, 260 men, 19 children and 29 more people whose gender has not yet been established,” said Sergey Bolvinov, head of the Kharkiv police investigation department, at the conference. presses.

Bolvinov said the figures included bodies exhumed in the woods near Izyum, where about 440 unmarked graves were discovered after the Russian withdrawal on September 16.

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Ukrainian authorities also say they discovered dozens of alleged torture chambers and detention centers where prisoners were held in inhumane conditions.

This was announced on Wednesday by the National Police of Ukraine. investigates 928 alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops during the occupation of Kharkov.

Russian forces are accused of numerous abuses in the territories of Ukraine under their control, in particular in Bucha near Kyiv, where the corpses of civilians were found after their withdrawal from the area in late March.

Moscow denied the commission of these crimes and considered the discovery of bodies in Izyum a lie.

Having received Western weapons, Ukrainian troops launched a counteroffensive at the end of August, which allowed them to return part of the territories under the control of Moscow.

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The Ukrainian army has already recaptured most of the Kharkiv region in the northeast and is now advancing in the east of the country, where it recently recaptured the Limansky railway junction, and in the south, where it aims to capture the city of Kherson. .

“Ukrainian armed forces have liberated more than 400 square kilometers of the Kherson region since the beginning of October,” said Natalya Gumenyuk, spokeswoman for the military command in the south, quoted by the French news agency AFP.

Kherson is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia annexed at the end of September as part of the invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 this year.

In addition to Kherson, Donetsk, Lugansk and Zaporozhye regions were annexed to Russia, where the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is located.

The Moscow army said this Thursday in its daily report that “the enemy is removed from the line of defense of the Russian troops” in the Kherson region.

According to Moscow, Ukrainian forces deployed four tactical battalions to this front and “made several attempts to break through the Russian defenses” in the Dudchan, Sukhanovo, Sadok and Bruskinskoe areas.

Information about the course of the war disclosed by both sides cannot be immediately verified independently of each other.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

See also  Brussels accuses Moscow of using 'false pretexts' to cut gas

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

See also  Brussels accuses Moscow of using 'false pretexts' to cut gas

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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