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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Ukrainian authorities exhumed more of the dead on Saturday from a burial site by a cemetery in the town of Izium, where officials say hundreds are buried in territory recaptured from Russian forces.

There was no immediate public comment from Russia, which denies deliberately attacking civilians. The head of the pro-Russian administration which abandoned the area last week on Friday accused Ukrainians of staging atrocities.

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* Up to 30 emergency service officers carefully dug up bodies at the wooded burial site in Izium using shovels. Police experts and investigators documented the findings on camera and inspected the bodies. Some bodies found so far have been of Ukrainian soldiers, others civilians.

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* Oleksandr Ilienkov, the chief of the prosecutor’s office for the Kharkiv region, told Reuters at the site on Friday: “One of the bodies (found) has evidence of a ligature pattern and a rope around the neck, tied hands.”

* “As for the others, according to preliminary information, there are signs of violent death causes. But in order to establish facts and circumstances, the bodies are (being) sent for forensic expertise for a more detailed investigation,” Ilienkov said.

* United Nations human rights monitors will go to Izium “to try to establish a bit more about what may have happened,” a spokesperson said on Friday.

* Both sides reported injuries in fighting in Donetsk in the east of Ukraine.

* Ukraine continues its offensive in the northeast while Russia has established a defensive line between the Oskil River and the town of Svatove, protecting one of its few main resupply routes from Russia’s Belgorod region, British military intelligence said.

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* Russia’s defense ministry said its forces had launched strikes on Ukrainian positions in several parts of Ukraine, and accused Kyiv of carrying out shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine denied shelling near the plant.

* Reuters could not verify battlefield reports.

* One of the Russian-held plant’s four main power lines has been repaired and is once again supplying the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid two weeks after it went down, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said.

* A leading Ukrainian ballet dancer who died this week fighting on the frontline was honored with a memorial service in the National Opera of Ukraine.

* President Zelenskiy told Reuters in an interview on Friday it was too early to say the tide of the war was turning and that the outcome hinged on the swift delivery of foreign weapons to his country.


* Despite Putin’s assertion that Russia is not isolated because it can look to Asian powers like China and India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assailed the Kremlin chief on Friday, telling Putin this was not the time for war.

* A day earlier, Putin acknowledged what he said were Chinese President Xi Jinping’s concerns about the conflict. (Compiled by Frances Kerry and Frank Jack Daniel)


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