October 6, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a speech on Wednesday at the UN General Assembly.
  • He shared the findings at Izium, where bodies were found stuck under the rubble and where a mass grave was discovered.
  • One of the men was castrated, and “this is not the first case”, said Zelenski.

Volodymyr Zelensky called on members of the United Nations to confront their Russian counterparts over one of the most horrific acts of violence that Ukrainian officials have previously said were committed during the six-month invasion and recently discovered in Izium: castration.

“Please ask the representatives of Russia why the Russian army is so obsessed with castration,” the Ukrainian president said in an impassioned speech at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. “What was done to them so that they wish it on others?”

In a pre-recorded speech, Zelenskyy called for peace while demanding a “full package” of restrictions against Russia to punish them for crimes he said they committed during the invasion of Ukraine.

While the assembly was underway, the Ukrainian president also said that the excavation of a mass grave in Izium, containing 445 graves, was underway and shared some of the violent findings in the Kharkiv region.

“The bodies of women and men, children and adults, civilians and soldiers were found there,” Zelenskyy said.

“There is a family that died under the rubble of a house from a Russian airstrike — father, mother, six- and eight-year-old girls, grandparents. There is a man who was strangled with a rope. There is a woman with a broken rib and wounds on her body. There is a man who was castrated before the murder, and this is not the first case,” he said, later wondering why Russian soldiers still castrate people.

This is not the first time that a Ukrainian official has reported violent acts committed by Russian soldiers against civilians.

In July, Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun shared what appeared to show the castration of a Ukrainian prisoner by Russian soldiers, although the identities of the victim and perpetrator were unclear.

A week later, another image appeared on the Internet of a skull placed on a stick in front of a building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Popasna, captured by the Russian army. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk province, suggested that the skill belonged to a Ukrainian prisoner and was put on a stick by Russian soldiers.

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