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Ukrainians find dead civilians in towns recaptured by Russian forces According to Reuters


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© Reuters. Members of the Ukrainian army walk near a Ukrainian flag, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in the village of Kozarovychi, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine April 2, 2022. REUTERS / Gleb Garanich

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(Editor’s note: Offensive language in paragraph 11)

By Simon Gardner, Zohra Bensemra and Abdelaziz Boumzar

BUCHA, Ukraine (Reuters) – As Ukraine said its forces had retaken all areas around Kyiv, the mayor of a liberated town said 300 residents had been killed in the lengthy occupation. a month of Russian troops and the victims are seen in a mass grave and still lying on the street.

Ukrainian troops have recaptured more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said on Saturday, declaring full control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched an invasion in Ukraine. February 24th.

In Bucha, a neighboring town of Irpin just 37 kilometers (23 miles) northwest of the capital, Reuters journalists saw bodies lying in the streets and limbs of several corpses sticking out from a The tomb is still open on a church grounds.

After more than five weeks of fighting, Russia has withdrawn the forces that once threatened Kyiv from the north to regroup for the battles in eastern Ukraine.

“The entire Kyiv region is liberated from the aggressor,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar wrote on Facebook (NASDAQ:) on Saturday.

There was no Russian comment on the claim, which Reuters could not immediately verify.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned in a video address: “They are mining all over this territory. Houses are mined, equipment is mined, even the bodies of dead people.” He did not cite evidence.

Ukraine’s emergency services said more than 1,500 explosives were found in a single day during a search for the village of Dmytrivka, west of the capital.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the mine allegations. Reuters could not independently verify them. Moscow denies targeting civilians and denies war crimes charges.

In Bucha, Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said more than 300 residents had been killed. Many people tearfully recall the brush with death.

“The bastards!” Vasily, a 66-year-old man, cried with anger as he saw more than a dozen bodies lying on the street outside his house. “I’m sorry. The tank behind me was shot. The dogs!”

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was appalled by the atrocities in Bucha and voiced support for the International Criminal Court’s investigation of potential war crimes.

PUTIN-ZELENSKIY TALKING?

Since carrying out what President Vladimir Putin has called a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denuclearize” Ukraine, Russia has not captured a single major city and instead, they besieged urban areas, robbing a quarter of the country’s population.

Russia has described the troop withdrawal near Kyiv as a gesture of goodwill in the peace talks. Ukraine and its allies argue that Russia was forced to shift its focus to eastern Ukraine after suffering heavy losses.

Both sides described talks last week in Istanbul and by video link as “difficult”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday “the main thing is that negotiations continue, in Istanbul or somewhere else”.

Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on Saturday that there had been enough progress for face-to-face talks between Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Zelenskiy.

However, Russia’s chief negotiator said the draft agreement was not ready to be sent to a top-level meeting, although he said Ukraine was showing more realism by agreeing to be neutral, giving up nuclear weapons, not joining the military bloc and refusing to build military bases.

But in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 and two Russian-backed rebel regions, which were recognized by Putin as independent in February, Vladimir Medinsky said there was no progress.

“I repeat again and again: Russia’s position on Crimea and Donbas remains unchanged,” he said on Telegram.

Videoconference talks will resume on Monday, he said.

MARIUPOL WAIT

Among those killed near Kyiv was Maksim Levin, a Ukrainian photographer and videographer who worked for a news website and was a longtime contributor to Reuters.

In the east, the Red Cross was hoping a convoy evacuating civilians would arrive at the besieged port of Mariupol on Sunday, having abandoned previous efforts due to security concerns. Russia has blamed the ICRC for the delay.

Mariupol is Russia’s main target in Ukraine’s southeast Donbas region, and tens of thousands of civilians there are stuck with scant food and water.

British military intelligence says Russian naval forces have maintained a blockade of the Ukrainian coast along the Black Sea and Sea of ​​Azov, but the amphibious option is becoming increasingly risky for Russia.

It said the reported mines, whose origins are still unclear and disputed, pose serious risks to shipping in the Black Sea.

The city council there said early Sunday rockets hit the southern port city of Odesa.



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