Ukrainians in recaptured town where 445 graves have been uncovered tell of suffering during Russian occupation
The men digging in the dusty ground looked visibly sickened by the gruesome task they had been dealt. The rotted bodies were mangled and the smell poisoned the fresh forest air. One corpse had a rope around the neck.
Those on a break mostly stood with their spades and goggles, looking on at their colleagues from the state rescue services who were red in the face from the hard labour of tugging the bodies out of the graves and sweating from their blue plastic overalls.
In woods a few miles from the centre of Izium, the north-eastern Ukrainian town recaptured by Kyiv last weekend, hundreds of police detectives, prosecutors, forensic doctors and journalists gathered at the site of hundreds of burials revealed after the Russian retreat.