The French city of Chennevier-sur-Marne has become a sister city of Izyum.

The signing of the memorandum was attended by the town’s mayor, Jean-Pierre Barno, members of the French Senate, Valeriy Marchenko, head of Izyum City Military Administration, and Vadym Omelchenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to France.

​​Izium and French town of Chennevières-sur-Marne become twin cities / Photo:

The French senators were also thanked for their participation in the charity project of the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska to reconstruct the Izium hospital.

“In turn, the French parliamentarians assured of their unequivocal support for Ukraine in countering Russia’s military aggression and assisting in restoring the destroyed social and residential infrastructure, particularly in Izyum,” the statement said.

​​Izium and French town of Chennevières-sur-Marne become twin cities / Photo:

After the signing of the twinning agreement, the delegations joined a charity concert to raise financial aid for children from Ukraine who suffered as a result of the military aggression of the Russian occupiers.

About Izium

Izyum suffered especially badly during the hostilities and occupation. The town was almost destroyed, with only 20% of its pre-war population remaining at the time of de-occupation in September 2022.

Volunteers buried the dead residents in a pine forest on the city’s outskirts under long rows of simple wooden crosses.

Izium mass graves. Next to an existing cemetery was a burial ground with rows of graves, with simple wooden crosses marking them. While some graves had names written on them, most were identified only by a number. These burials were done on the orders of the Russians during their period of occupation. According to the Ukrainian police, there were 445 newly-discovered graves at this site (Photo: Denys Glushko for Gwara Media)

When Ukrainian troops liberated the town, the bodies were exhumed and transported to Kharkiv. Some died of natural causes, according to police, but many were killed by shelling or explosions. 17 people bore signs of torture, such as a rope around their necks and their hands tied.

In Izium, 451 bodies were found, including seven children. They were buried in the woods in a hurry, under fire, and most had no coffin.