Kharkiv has become a spectacle of death and war atrocities

Kharkiv has become a spectacle of death and war atrocities

 The outskirts of Kharkiv, where the dead lie unclaimed, sometimes for weeks; they are the dead in houses destroyed by Russian bombs, air strikes are a daily threat and death can come at any moment; they were soldiers who died on both sides after more than two months of brutality and outrage; they were executed civilians. In Kharkiv, four people were killed, apparently Russian soldiers, arranged in the letter Z as a military symbol found on Russian armored vehicles, seen by Russian drones constantly buzzing overhead. 

They were located near a village that had just been recaptured by Ukrainian troops. The photo is credited to an Associated Press reporter who saw the bodies shaped into a Z, wearing white armbands commonly used by Russian soldiers, and with some Russian medical equipment next to them. They were found on the front line where the fighting had been going on for days. There was no explanation for the Z formation - a symbol of the Russian invasion - or any other deaths. All of them can be considered as victims of war crimes, because of the lack of respect for the dignity of the person who died. Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, had been the target of continuous Russian attacks since the start of the war, but later with Moscow's change in strategy and the intensification of Russian attacks in the east, attacks became more vicious. 

A strategic and industrial center, the eastern suburbs of the city have been lost and recaptured by Russian and Ukrainian forces for weeks as fighting moves from village to village. Many of Kharkiv's one million residents have fled. But not all of them. Kharkiv has become a spectacle of death and war atrocities. Getting a full picture of the ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine is difficult as air strikes and a barrage of artillery make it extremely dangerous for journalists to move around. 

Russia severely restricts reporting in combat zones; the Ukrainian government has imposed fewer limits, particularly on how quickly material can be published or on military installations. In the last 48 hours, Ukrainian forces have managed to push Moscow troops away from Kharkiv. The Russians have now been pushed some 40 kilometers east of the city, further into the Donbas region, but they have left a long trail of corpses behind them.

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