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Unfortunately, after Bucha, what we found in Izium is no surprise: Ukrainian MP

Alona Shrum, Ukrainian MP, lawyer, and human rights activist was TVP World’s guest invited to talk about Izium, Bucha, and the steps that should be taken to prosecute Russian war crimes.

MP Shrum spoke about what the war crime investigators found in the liberated areas. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the focus of the international community is on the mass graves. The locals have told terrifying stories of what they suffered under the Russian invaders’ occupation.

As she said, unfortunately, after Bucha, this was not a surprise. But there are international investigators are assisting in gathering as much evidence as possible to enable future prosecution of those responsible.

Ukrainian forces have liberated Sviatohirsk, a town known for its churches and monasteries, which the invaders bombed and destroyed. Izium is a prime example of wholescale destruction of infrastructure, which the invaders have done when they fled from the advancing Ukrainians.

But even throughout the occupation, the resident had no gas, electricity, or warm water. Nor did they have any access to information. They were constantly lied to, being told that there is no government or parliament in Kyiv anymore. An elderly woman reported that the Russians told her she will be shot by Ukrainian soldiers if they return because she accepted bread handed out to the locals by the Russians.

What the local pensioners received was a pittance, a one-time handout of RUB 10,000 (EUR 165), after which they were left to work in exchange for food or fend for themselves. That is one of the reasons why delivering pensions in cash is of primary importance, since banking infrastructure has been destroyed alongside other utilities, and re-establishing them before winter will be the priority.

Other issues discussed by MP Shrum: what should be the next step in the process of punishing the war criminals and how can Putin be brought to justice; the parallels between the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the German invasion of Poland in 1939; and what the UN should do with Russia’s place in the international community.

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