Live: a “mass grave” discovered in Izium, a city recaptured from the Russians, according to Zelensky

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A “mass grave” was discovered in Izium, a city recaptured from the Russians a few days ago as part of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region (east), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday evening. Follow the latest developments in the war in Ukraine live.

  • 1:33 a.m.: White House approves $600 million in additional military aid to Ukraine

The White House has approved up to $600 million in additional military assistance to Ukraine, according to a statement Thursday. This assistance consists of equipment and services, but also training, according to the American executive, which does not give more details, in particular on the armaments provided.

  • 12:36 a.m .: Ukraine has lost about 15% of its grain storage capacity

About 15% of Ukraine’s grain storage capacity has been lost since the start of the war with Russia, according to an American report on Thursday, which underlines the harmful effects for world food security.

Since the start of the war, access to silos and other storage space representing about 8.5 million tonnes of grain has been lost by Ukraine, according to the estimate of the Washington-backed Conflict Observatory. Of the approximately 58 million tons in storage capacity in Ukraine, the Russians took control of 6.24 million and 2.25 million were destroyed, the report said.

These significant losses call into question Ukraine’s ability to continue its role as breadbasket for many countries, which depend on the country for their supplies of wheat, corn and sunflower in particular.

  • 11:14 p.m .: Pope finds it morally acceptable to deliver arms to Ukraine for self-defense

Pope Francis said on Thursday that it was morally legitimate to supply Ukraine with weapons to help it defend itself against Russia.

Speaking to journalists on board the plane bringing him back from a trip to Kazakhstan, the sovereign pontiff also urged Ukraine to be ready for a dialogue with Russia, even “by pinching its nose”.

When asked by a journalist whether it was morally right for certain countries to supply arms to Ukraine, invaded by Russia on February 24, François replied: “It is a political decision which can be moral , morally accepted, if made under the conditions of morality.”

The pope recalled the principles of “just war” according to the Catholic Church, which authorize the proportionate use of lethal weapons for a country wishing to defend itself against an aggressor.

  • 11:05 p.m .: a “mass grave” discovered in Izium, a city recaptured from the Russians, says Zelensky

A “mass grave” was discovered in Izium, a city recaptured from the Russians a few days ago as part of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region (east), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday evening.

“We want the world to know what the Russian occupation has caused,” he said, without giving details of the number of people buried or the causes of their deaths. The investigation has started, “we must have more verified and clear information tomorrow”, added Volodymyr Zelensky in his daily video address.

Regional police official Sergiy Botvinov told Sky News that a burial site with around 440 graves had been discovered in Izium. Some of the deceased were shot dead, others died in shelling, he added.

For his part, Volodymyr Zelensky compared Izium to the cities of Boutcha and Mariupol which became symbols of the atrocities of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Russia is leaving death behind everywhere. And it must respond. The world really needs to hold Russia accountable for this war. We are going to do everything for that,” he said.

With AFP and Reuters

Live: a “mass grave” discovered in Izium, a city recaptured from the Russians, according to Zelensky