Police Say 269 Bodies Recovered in Ukraine’s War-Torn Irpin

Relatives light candles while attending the funeral of Anatoliy Kolesnikov, 30, and Oleksandr Mozheiko, 31, both territorial defense soldiers who were killed by Russian, in Irpin, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 15, 2022. (AP)
Relatives light candles while attending the funeral of Anatoliy Kolesnikov, 30, and Oleksandr Mozheiko, 31, both territorial defense soldiers who were killed by Russian, in Irpin, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 15, 2022. (AP)
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Police Say 269 Bodies Recovered in Ukraine’s War-Torn Irpin

Relatives light candles while attending the funeral of Anatoliy Kolesnikov, 30, and Oleksandr Mozheiko, 31, both territorial defense soldiers who were killed by Russian, in Irpin, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 15, 2022. (AP)
Relatives light candles while attending the funeral of Anatoliy Kolesnikov, 30, and Oleksandr Mozheiko, 31, both territorial defense soldiers who were killed by Russian, in Irpin, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 15, 2022. (AP)

Ukrainian investigators have examined 269 dead bodies in Irpin, near Kyiv, since the town was taken back from Russian forces in late March, a police official said on Monday, as workers dug fresh graves on its outskirts.

The town, which had a pre-war population of about 62,000, was one of the main hotspots of fighting with Russian troops before they pulled back from Ukraine's northern regions to intensify their offensive in the east.

At a cemetery on the outskirts of Irpin, dozens of new graves have been dug and heaped with wreaths. Under the watch of a few tearful mourners, workers hurriedly shoveled the sandy earth into one grave on Monday.

"As of now, we have inspected 269 dead bodies," said Serhiy Panteleyev, first deputy head of the police's main investigation department, at an online briefing.

He said forensic work was ongoing to determine the cause of death for many of the victims, sharing photos of severely charred human remains.

He said seven sites in Irpin where civilians were allegedly shot have been inspected, without giving further details.

Russia denies targeting civilians and has dismissed allegations its troops committed war crimes in occupied areas of Ukraine.



Iran’s Pezeshkian Rejects US Pressure, Praises Russia, China

Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
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Iran’s Pezeshkian Rejects US Pressure, Praises Russia, China

Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)

The United States should realize that Iran will not respond to pressure, President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian said in a statement published on Saturday, in which he also highlighted his country's friendship with China and Russia.

Pezeshkian, a relative moderate who beat a hardline rival in elections, also reiterated that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, adding that Tehran would expand ties with neighbors and engage with Europe.

"The United States...needs to recognize the reality and understand, once and for all, that Iran does not - and will not - respond to pressure (and) that Iran’s defense doctrine does not include nuclear weapons," Pezeshkian said in the statement, titled "My message to the new world" and published in the daily Tehran Times.

Pezeshkian, a 69-year-old heart surgeon, has pledged to promote a pragmatic foreign policy, ease tensions over now-stalled negotiations with major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear pact and improve prospects for social liberalization and political pluralism.

However, many Iranians are skeptical about his ability to fulfil his campaign promises as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not the president, is the ultimate authority in the country.

"China and Russia have consistently stood by us during challenging times. We deeply value this friendship.

"Russia is a valued strategic ally and neighbor to Iran and my administration will remain committed to expanding and enhancing our cooperation," Pezeshkian said, adding that Tehran would actively support initiatives aimed at ending the conflict in Ukraine.

"The Iranian people have entrusted me with a strong mandate to vigorously pursue constructive engagement on the international stage while insisting on our rights, our dignity and our deserved role in the region and the world.

"I extend an open invitation to those willing to join us in this historic endeavor,"