Ukraine latest live news – latest: Russia facing calls for war crimes tribunal over mass graves

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Russia is facing calls for an international war crimes tribunal after the discovery of mass graves in Ukraine.

It comes as the Ministry of Defence questioned whether Russian frontline forces have “sufficient reserves or adequate morale” to withstand another concerted assault in the east of the country.

Any substantial loss of territory here would “unambiguously undermine” Vladimir Putin’s strategy for the conflict, the experts say.

Mr Putin warned on Friday that Ukraine risks provoking “more serious” action from Moscow with its sweeping counteroffensive, claiming that “we so far have responded with restraint”.

He vowed to press on with his “special military operation” during his address to reporters after attending a meeting of Asian world leaders, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, in Uzbekistan.

He said the “liberation” of Ukraine‘s entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia’s main military goal and that he has no intention of giving up the fight.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi offered a public rebuke to Mr Putin for the first time and the Russian leader admitted there were also concerns about the situation in Beijing.

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Opinion: Mass graves, mass destruction: Justice must be served for the merciless war of aggression in Ukraine

Mass graves, mass destruction, mass violation of human rights, and torture. The only surprise for the liberators of the Ukrainian city of Izyum is that the destruction and the pain inflicted on civilians wasn’t even worse.

Read our latest editorial here:

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‘Four powerful explosions’ heard in Kherson

A series of loud explosions have been heard by locals in the Russian occupied city of Kherson, reports say.

Tweeting on Saturday evening, the Kyiv Independent, citing Ukrainian media, claimed that “four powerful explosions” were heard in the southern city.

“Local residents said that black smoke was rising from the territory of a machine-building plant where a Russian military base is allegedly located,” it added.

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Ukrainian comrades pay tribute to Russian woman fighting against her native country – report

A three-gun salute has been fired by an honour guard to bid farewell to a Russian woman who was killed while fighting on Ukraine‘s side in the war with her native country, reports the Associated Press.

Olga Simonova, 34, had recently been redeployed from the east to the southern Kherson region, where Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces.

According to her friends and comrades, she died on 13 September after her vehicle hit a land mine.

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Satellite images capture Izium ‘Forest Cemetary’

Aerial satellite photographs have been shared which capture the the site of the mass grave site near Izium.

Maxar Technologies shared the images of the “Forest Cemetary” entrance from March to August 2022.

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EU presidency calls for war crimes tribunal over mass graves

Current holders of the European Union’s rotating presidency the Czech Republic has called for a tribunal into Russia’s alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Czech Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský tweeted: “Russia left behind mass graves of hundreds of shot and tortured people in the Izyum area.

“In the 21st century, such attacks against the civilian population are unthinkable and abhorrent. We must not overlook it. We stand for the punishment of all war criminals.

“I call for the speedy establishment of a special international tribunal that will prosecute the crime of aggression.”

A view of unidentified graves of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers

(AP)

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Four people reportedly killed in Ukrainian shelling

A Ukrainian shelling attack reportedly killed four people in downtown Donetsk.

According to the city’s mayor Alexey Kulemzin, fragments of munitions for Caesar howitzers were found.

Shelling in Donetsk, controlled by Russian-backed separatists

(AP)

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More bodies exhumed from mass graves

Ukrainian authorities exhumed more of the dead on Saturday from a burial site by a cemetery in Izium, where officials say hundreds are buried in territory recaptured from Russian forces.

There was no immediate public comment from Russia, which denies deliberately attacking civilians.

Up to 30 emergency service officers carefully dug up bodies at the wooded burial site using shovels.

Police experts and investigators documented the findings on camera and inspected the bodies, which are of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.

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Russian shelling kills girl, 11

Russian shelling in the city of Chuhuiv in the Kharkiv region has killed an 11-year-old girl, according to the regional governor.

Oleh Syniehubov said a missile attack started a fire in an industrial area.

Remnants suggested the Russians fired S-300 surface-to-air missiles at the city, he said.

The S-300 is designed for striking missiles or aircraft in the sky, not targets on the ground. Analysts say Russia’s use of the missiles suggest they may be running out of some precision munitions.

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Memorial service for ballet dancer-turned-soldier

A leading Ukrainian ballet dancer who died this week fighting on the front line has been honoured with a memorial service in the National Opera of Ukraine.

The National Opera described Oleksandr Shapoval as a “courageous romantic” and brave warrior who died under Russian mortar shelling in eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Mourners, including soldiers from Shapoval’s unit, honour guards and members of the artistic community of Kyiv, crowded the lobby of the opera house, laying flowers on his coffin before it was wrapped in a Ukrainian flag.

Shapoval, 47, retired from a long dancing career at the National Opera last year and began teaching in Kyiv before joining a territorial guard to defend the capital. He later volunteered to join the army and fought in eastern Ukraine‘s Donetsk region.

“To me he was a friend, brother-in-arms. He was a very decent person. My soul is empty. To me he will for ever be alive,” said Roman Turshyiev, who fought alongside Shapoval.

(REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

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Power line to Russian-held nuclear plant repaired

One of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s four main power lines has been repaired and is once again supplying the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid two weeks after it went down, the UN nuclear watchdog says.

Even though the six reactors at Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, have been shut down, the fuel in them still needs cooling to avoid a potentially catastrophic meltdown. That means the plant needs electricity to pump water through the core of the reactors.

The power supply at Zaporizhzhia has been a source of major concern after the last main line went down and then three back-up lines that can connect it to a nearby coal-fired power plant were also disconnected.

That prompted the plant to go into so-called “island mode” where its last operating reactor provided it with power, though that mode is not sustainable. A back-up power line was reconnected a week ago, enabling that reactor to shut down, too.

“With the main line’s reconnection yesterday afternoon, the three back-up power lines are again being held in reserve,” the International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog said.

The three other main external power lines that were lost earlier during the conflict remain down.

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