Marcin Ociepa made the assessment in an interview with state news agency PAP on Monday.
Mass killings 'a rule, not an exception' for Russian army
The deputy defence minister said; “The killings in Izyum, Bucha and many other places in Ukraine bear the hallmarks of war crimes, and war crimes committed on a mass scale.”
Ociepa added: “And so this is not an exception, but the rule of how the Russian military operates.”
According to the deputy defence minister, the killings are proof that “Russia hasn’t changed its criminal nature which we in Poland know only too well, for instance from the Katyń Massacre.”
“There is a debate going on in the West over whether Russia should be officially recognised as a state sponsor of terrorism, yet it’s clear that it’s definitely a terrorist state, employing the so-called state terrorism,” Ociepa told PAP.
Hundreds of graves discovered in Ukraine's liberated Izyum City
His words came after the discovery of a mass burial site near the eastern Ukrainian city of Izyum, which was recently liberated from Russian forces.
Izyum was reclaimed as part of Ukraine’s successful counter-offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region.
'Russia must be declared state sponsor of terrorism': Zelensky
After the discovery of the graves, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the international community to declare Russia “a state sponsor of terrorism.”
In his Friday address, Zelensky said that over 400 bodies, including some with signs of torture, had been found at the mass burial site near Izyum, with Ukrainian servicemen and children among them.
59 bodies exhumed by Saturday
As of Saturday, a total of 59 bodies were exhumed by the Ukrainian police, the Ukrinform news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Izyum Mayor Valerii Marchenko said on Sunday that the exhumations “of those who were killed in shelling and tortured to death by Russian troops” would take about two weeks.
“This work will last for about two more weeks, as there are too many victims buried,” Marchenko told Ukrainian TV, according to Ukrinform.
Ukrainian officials said the death toll in Izyum may exceed the number of people killed by Russian troops in Bucha and other towns around the capital Kyiv, which were recaptured from Russia in the spring.
Monday is day 208 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, wnp.pl, ukrinform.net