The mass grave is proof of the horrific price Ukraine is paying as it fights for freedom
In a forest outside the town of Izium, Ukrainian authorities made a gruesome discovery last week: a mass grave site containing more than 440 bodies, some of which showed signs of torture, according to multiple reports.
The bodies included soldiers, adult civilians and children, according to reports. Photos from the scene, showing wooden crosses marking individual burial sites and investigators pulling bodies from the ground, are hard to watch. Being on the scene is undoubtedly much worse.
The discovery was not the first evidence of atrocities reported by Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded the neighboring country nearly seven months ago on February 24.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made this point clear in a video address he recorded after soldiers liberated Izium.
“Bucha, Mariupol, now, unfortunately, Izium,” Zelenskyy said. “Russia leaves death everywhere. And he must be held accountable for it. The world must get Russia to take real responsibility for this war.
The discovery of the mass grave site is another reminder of this clear point: you don’t have to be a foreign policy expert to argue that no leader who invades another country, entirely without provocation, does not deserve to be taken into consideration to “negotiate” an end. to this invasion.
To end the bloodshed and the tragedy of this war, Putin must leave Ukraine.
Carry on, to an increasing death toll
Americans were quick to back Zelensky and Ukraine right after the invasion, when a poll showed 89% of Americans followed war news closely. Congress has sent hundreds of millions in military aid. Lawmakers gave Zelenskyy a standing ovation when he virtually addressed a joint session of Congress to plead for continued support.
Ukrainian flags have appeared all over social media. Ukrainian women who confronted an armed Russian soldier, demanding to know why he was in his country and handing him sunflower seeds (sunflowers are a national symbol for Ukraine) “to grow here when you die” became a media heroine social.
News of the war has not dominated the headlines recently to the same extent as when the war began. America has many of our own problems that demand attention, but none are so appalling and deadly as an invading army.
Yet most Americans feel about the same about Putin’s invasion today as they did in February: 53% of Americans interrogates in an August Reuters/Ipsos poll, the United States should continue to support Ukraine “until all Russian forces are withdrawn”.
Additionally, 51% continue to support sending arms to Ukraine, and 58% said they follow news of the war “very” or “fairly” closely.
The United States and other allies must continue to support Ukraine, which has dealt Putin one defeat after another as Russian troops surrender or withdraw from retaken territory.
Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed since the start of the war, as NPR reports. More than 13 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes. Ukraine’s grain and other exports to countries in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere have been disrupted.
Putin vowed on Friday to press ahead with the invasion, undeterred by the lack of support he received earlier in the week from Indian and Chinese leaders at a summit in Uzbekistan.
“I think what you are seeing is just a manifestation that this aggression has been an aggression against the interests of people across the planet,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday during a briefing. press conference at the State Department. The United States is sending Ukraine an additional $600 million in military aid.
Last Thursday was the International Day of Democracy, a day for Americans to remember that the institutions and principles we cherish are worth defending.
Ukraine is also fighting for freedom and democracy, and is paying a terrible price. It is also something worth remembering.
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