Saturday, November 26, 2022

Ukraine war latest: Authorities exhume around 1,000 bodies in recently liberated territories

by Thaisa SemenovaOctober 26, 2022 10:39 pm
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Ukraine war latest: Authorities exhume around 1,000 bodies in recently liberated territoriesA coffin is seen in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast on Sept. 30, 2022. In. total, 447 bodies were found at a mass burial site in Izium. (Getty Images)

Key developments: 

  • Russia's recent attacks cause energy giant DTEK $40 million
  • General Staff says Russia has lost 480 troops in Ukraine in past 24 hours
  • Ukrainian military repel Russian attacks near 11 settlements
  • Belarus conscripts drivers, mechanics to help Russian army.

Ukrainian authorities said on Oct. 26 they exhumed the bodies of about a thousand people in recently liberated areas. 

According to the Reintegration Ministry, the bodies of civilians – including children – were exhumed alongside the remains of military personnel.

The number includes 447 bodies found at a mass burial site in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, that was liberated in September.

However, the ministry didn't specify the names of other settlements where Ukrainian authorities exhumed bodies.

Prior, Donetsk Oblast Police reported that the bodies of 111 civilians and 35 soldiers were found in the mass burial site in the recently liberated town of Lyman.

The killed people were buried in trenches, and some graves were unmarked, police said.

In Lyman, a total of 25 burial sites have been found since liberation. A total of 58 mass burial sites have been found in the liberated settlements across Donetsk Oblast, police said.

Russia's losses

The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on Oct. 26 that Russia had lost 480 troops in Ukraine over the past 24 hours alone, bringing the total number of its service members lost since the start of the invasion to 68,900 so far.

According to the General Staff, the representatives of Russian private military campaigns are recruiting prisoners in the Bryansk region to replenish combat losses.

Ukraine's Southern Operational Command reported it had destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in the south. Ukraine's Armed Forces also downed two kamikaze drones in Kherson Oblast. 

Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter at around 5 p.m. on Oct. 26.

To help the Russian army maintain its military equipment, Moscow recruits truck drivers and mechanics in Belarus' Gomel, Ukraine's National Resistance Center reported.

On Oct. 16, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said about 9,000 Russian soldiers would be stationed in Belarus as part of what Minsk called a "regional grouping" near the Ukrainian border.

The head of the Belarusian Defense Ministry's Department for International Military Cooperation, Valery Revenko, said that the first trains carrying Russian soldiers who are part of the "regional grouping" arrived in Belarus on Oct. 16.

Russia has used Belarusian territory to attack Ukraine since the start of its full-scale invasion in February.

The Foreign Policy media outlet reported, citing multiple Afghan military and security sources, that Russia reportedly is recruiting Afghan commandos for its war in Ukraine.

Before the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, the U.S. reportedly spent almost $90 billion building the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The commandos had been trained by U.S. Navy SEALs and the British Special Air Service.

For its atrocities in Ukraine, the Polish Senate voted unanimously in support of a resolution recognizing Russian authorities as a terrorist regime on Oct. 26. 

In the resolution, the Polish Senate "strongly condemns" Russian aggression saying that Russian forces are "terrorizing" Ukrainians by bombarding civilian targets in their cities, torturing and killing prisoners of war and civilians in the occupied territories, and kidnapping children.

Battlefield development

According to the General Staff, the Ukrainian military repelled Russian attacks near 11 settlements in Donetsk Oblast.

Ukrainian troops stopped Russian attempts to advance near the settlements of Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Ivanhrad, Andriivka, Soledar, Kurdiumivka, Krasnohorivka, Novomykhailivka, Nevelske, Marinka, and Kamianka.

The General Staff said that the Ukrainian forces also hit three Russian military command points, six spots with Russian troops and military equipment, and two ammunition depots.

On Oct. 26, Russia has attacked Ukraine 11 times using multiple rocket launcher systems.

Attacks on energy sector

Russia has recently intensified attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure sites with missiles and kamikaze drones, causing regular blackouts across the country.

As of Oct. 26, blackouts took place in all Ukrainian regions except occupied Crimea. Power outages took place for several hours.

State-owned grid operator Ukrenergo said it would cut electricity supplies to businesses and households in all regions of Ukraine to stabilize the power system's operation. 

The government urges residents to reduce their electricity usage between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. 

Ukraine's largest private energy company DTEK said it had lost roughly $40 million since Oct. 10, when Russia intensified attacks on the country's energy sector.

Maxim Timchenko, head of DTEK, told Interfax Ukraine that the company's losses in 2022 have reached $480 million.

He called the situation "catastrophic both from the point of view of the destruction and the efforts required for recovery" and urged the state to support the company.

Since Oct. 10, Russia launched over 300 strikes on Ukraine's power stations, destroying around a third of the country's energy-generating capacity. Russia openly admits that Ukraine's energy infrastructure is among its key targets.

President Volodymyr Zelensky reported on Oct. 25 that Russia has already destroyed over a third of Ukraine's energy sector using missiles and Iranian-made drones. He said the attacks were aimed at making "it harder for us to endure this winter."

Thaisa Semenova
Thaisa Semenova
National reporter

Thaisa Semenova is a national reporter at the Kyiv Independent. She worked as a staff writer for the Kyiv Post until November 2021.

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