Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily address Friday that crimes Russian forces have committed in Ukraine’s now-liberated Kharkiv region are being revealed and recorded.
Zelenskyy said that, so far, more than 440 graves have been unearthed at a “mass burial site near Izium” and evidence is emerging that Russian soldiers “shot at the buried just for fun.”
In addition, he said Russian soldiers have held some people, including foreigners, captive for months. He cited seven Sri Lankan nationals who had been students at Ukraine’s Kupyansk Medical College at the time of the invasion who had been held captive by the Russians since March.
“Only now, after the liberation of Kharkiv region, these people were saved, they are provided with proper medical care,” he said.
Zelenskyy also said he had talked Friday with representatives from Nike. He said he thanked the Nike representatives “for the decision to leave the Russian market. The right decision. This is an example of how business can play a significant role in protecting humanity and freedom. If a state chooses the path of terror, it is the duty of every self-respecting company to distance itself from such a state.”
The British Defense Ministry said Saturday on Twitter that, “Ukraine continues offensive operations in the north-east of the country while Russian forces have established a defensive line between the Oskil River and the town of Svatove. Russia likely sees maintaining control of this zone as important because it is transited by one of the few main resupply routes Russia still controls from the Belgorod region of Russia."
“In addition, this line sits along the border of Luhansk Oblast, part of the Donbas, which Russia aims to 'liberate' as one of its immediate war aims.” the ministry said. Adding, “Any substantial loss of territory in Luhansk will unambiguously undermine Russia's Strategy."