Bodies of more than 900 civilians found in Kyiv region after Russia’s withdrawal, police say

Vast majority of victims shot dead with many ‘simply executed in the streets,’ police chief says

Joe Middleton
Saturday 16 April 2022 02:40 BST
Russian state TV presenter says war in Ukraine 'has already escalated into World War 3'
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The bodies of more than 900 civilians were discovered in the Kyiv region following the withdrawal of Russian forces, the area’s police chief has said.

Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv‘s regional police force, said the bodies were abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. About 95 per cent died from gunshot wounds, he added.

“Consequently, we understand that under the occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,” Mr Nebytov said.

More bodies are being found every day, under rubble and in mass graves, he added.

The most victims were found in Bucha, where there are more than 350 corpses, the police chief said.

The discovery of further bodies comes after Ukrainian authorities first found mass graves in Bucha earlier this month prompting strong international condemnation.

In a visit to the country on Wednesday, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor said there are “reasonable grounds” to believe war crimes have been committed in Ukraine.

Women clean in a building with a collapsed facade at the Vizar company military-industrial complex, after the site was hit by overnight Russian strikes, in the town of Vyshneve, southwestern suburbs of Kyiv (AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian leaders have warned an even greater civilian toll is likely to be uncovered in Mariupol, which has been under siege for weeks by Russian forces, who have blocked aid and evacuation convoys.

Mariupol residents have reported seeing Russian troops digging up bodies in an alleged attempt to cover up war crimes

Forces in Ukraine said on Friday that they were trying to break Russian forces’ siege of Mariupol and that fighting was raging around the city’s Illich steel works and port.

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Press Association Images)

Mariupol was previously home to 400,000 people before the war, but has been reduced to rubble in seven weeks of siege and bombardment, with tens of thousands still trapped inside. There is a severe shortage of water, food and medicines in the city.

“The situation in Mariupol is difficult and hard. Fighting is happening right now. The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city,” defence ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said.

“But as of now the Russians haven’t managed to completely capture it,” he told a televised briefing.

Meanwhile, Russian shelling hit a residential area of Ukraine‘s eastern city of Kharkiv on Friday, killing seven people including a small child and wounding 34 others, the regional governor said.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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