Inside Izyum – and the Russian command centre destroyed by Himars missiles

Anton Herashenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior ministry, told the BBC on Thursday that about 1,000 bodies had been found in Izyum and that more civilians had died there than in Bucha.

The Telegraph did not see any evidence of that scale of death during a visit on Thursday. Hrigory denied knowledge of any war crimes.

“We didn’t interact with them, and they didn’t interact with us,” he said of the Russians. “From what I know, there wasn’t detentions, executions, torture.”

“There were a lot of young men who would say ‘we won’t shoot any bullets,’” he added.

There is another unspoken, but troubling shadow to the advance.

Like civilians in all wars, those here seem wary of speaking.

When the flags change without warning, it is worth being careful what you say. Who knows which army will be in control next week.

Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky has promised to hunt down and jail “collaborators” who worked with the occupation.

Anton Chernyshov, a 31-year-old local, was arrested and jailed by Russia’s FSB for stealing ammunition and throwing it into a swamp in what he calls his own “tiny partisan action”.

He said attitudes in the town were mixed.

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