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Russia’s war in Ukraine: Live updates

Ukrainian soldiers sit on infantry vehicles as they drive near Izium, Kharkiv Oblast on September 16.
Ukrainian soldiers sit on infantry vehicles as they drive near Izium, Kharkiv Oblast on September 16. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said some of the bodies found at a mass burial site in Izium show “signs of torture.” Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged “concerns” from both China and India about the war.

Here are the latest developments:

Horrors in Izium: Ukrainian officials said that at least 440 graves had been discovered at a mass burial site in the city of Izium, in the recently liberated Kharkiv region. Zelensky said some bodies had “signs of torture,” while the governor of the Kharkiv region claimed that “99% show signs of violent death,” adding “there are several bodies with their hands tied behind their backs, and one person is buried with a rope around his neck.”

A United Nations source said a team will be going to Izium and the surrounding areas soon, and the war crimes investigation team may follow afterward.

India and China voice concerns: On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin that “today’s era is not of war” — a significant rebuke from a leader who has stayed largely silent on the conflict. And a day earlier, Putin on Thursday acknowledged China’s President Xi Jinping had “questions and concerns” regarding the conflict in Ukraine. 

Putin speaks on counteroffensive for first time: In his first comments following Kyiv’s successful counteroffensive in northeastern Ukraine, the Russian leader said the main goal of Russia’s “special military operation” has not changed and that there’s “no hurry.”

“Let’s see how this ends,” he added.

Russia shelling continues: Much of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region has been retaken by Ukrainian forces, but the military said liberated areas are now being heavily shelled by Russian artillery, resulting in some injuries. Attacks are also taking place in Luhansk, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

Russian-backed officials dead: The leader of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic said its prosecutor general had been killed in a “terrorist act,” while the head of the Russian-backed administration in occupied areas of the Zaporizhzhia region said a senior official there was killed.

Biden to meet families of detained Americans: US President Joe Biden will personally meet with the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan at the White House today. The administration said Biden is “not going to let up” on getting Griner and Whelan back to the US. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said the matter is “at the very top of my priority list.”

US officials express frustration on sanctions: Senior US officials tell CNN they are disappointed US-led sanctions haven’t had a bigger impact so far on the Russian economy and are now predicting that the harshest effects probably won’t materialize until early next year at the earliest.

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