Zelenskyy urged UN officials to ask Russian representatives why their military is ‘so obsessive with castration’ after sharing what was found in Izium

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, from video addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 21, 2022, at UN headquarters.Jason DeCrow/AP

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

  • He shared findings in Izium, where bodies were trapped under rubble and a mass grave was discovered.

  • One of the men was neutered and “this is not the first case,” Zelenskyy said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged members of the United Nations to confront their Russian counterparts with one of the more heinous acts of violence Ukrainian officials said earlier during the seven-month-long invasion and recently discovered in Izium: castration.

“Please ask Russia’s representatives why the Russian military is so obsessive about castration,” the Ukrainian president said in an impassioned speech at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. “What has been done to them to make them want to do this to others?”

In the pre-recorded speech, Zelenskyy called for peace and also demanded a “full package” of restrictions against Russia to punish them for crimes he believes were committed during the invasion of Ukraine.

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While the meeting was underway, the Ukrainian president also said the excavation of the mass cemetery in Izium, which contained 445 graves, was underway, and he shared some of the violent findings in the Kharkiv region.

“The bodies of women and men, children and adults, civilians and soldiers were found there,” Zelenskyy said.

“There is a family who died under the rubble of a house from a Russian air raid – a father, mother, girls six and eight, grandparents. There is a man who was strangled with a rope. There is a woman with broken ribs and wounds on her body. There is a man who was castrated for the murder, and this is not the first case,” he said, later wondering why Russian soldiers continue to castrate people.

This was not the first time that a Ukrainian official reported violent actions by Russian soldiers against civilians.

In July, Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun shared what appeared to be the castration of a Ukrainian prisoner by Russian soldiers, although the identity of the victim and perpetrators was not clear.

Read:Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill urges people not to see Ukrainians as enemies

A week later, another image surfaced online of a skull placed on a stick outside a building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Popasna, which was captured by the Russian army. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk province, suggested the skull belonged to a Ukrainian prisoner and had been placed on a stick by Russian soldiers.

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