Four bodies with 'torture signs' in recaptured village: Kyiv
Ukraine has recently claimed sweeping successes in its lightning counter-offensive in Kharkiv region, which saw dozens of settlements and more than 2,000 square kilometres retaken.
The regional prosecutor's office said that after the village of Zaliznychne was recaptured, residents reported Russian troops had killed fellow villagers.
"On September 11, law enforcement officers discovered four bodies. All of them show signs of torture," the prosecutors said on social media.
"Three of them were buried near private houses, the other one was found on the territory of the asphalt factory," the prosecutors reported on Facebook.
The statement added that according to the preliminary investigation, the civilians were killed by Russian troops when they occupied the village.
The prosecutors said the bodies have been handed over for forensic examination and an investigation has been launched "into the fact of violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder".
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International in a statement urged Ukrainian authorities to "prioritise securing evidence" of war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces.
"Gathering such evidence is extremely resource-intensive," said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International's director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, calling on the international community "to provide resources that will assist Ukraine's efforts".
On Friday, AFP journalists witnessed Ukrainian officials exhuming two bodies in another recaptured village in the region, Grakove, as part of an investigation into a possible war crime.
Ukraine has accused Russian forces of a string of war crimes in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv it recaptured in March when Moscow pulled back its troops after a failed bid to capture the capital.