Russian troops have taken control of the Kyiv region, according to Ukraine’s defense ministry. but officials warned that their departure would leave behind “catastrophic” conditions for residents in the form of minefields. Since Russia’s incursion began on February 24, Ukraine has not claimed control of the capital region until Saturday’s declaration. The Russian government did not respond to the claim right away. According to official estimates, Ukrainian forces have retaken more than 30 towns and villages surrounding Kiev. The towns that had been recaptured after five weeks of warfare were littered with damaged armored vehicles, military equipment, and the dead of dozens of people.
Afraid that Russian forces had booby-trapped the remains of residents in Bucha, a town northwest of Kiev, Ukrainian soldiers used wires to remove the corpses. A 14-year-old kid was among the 280 persons buried in Bucha’s mass grave, according to Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk. Fedoruk added, “They were all shot in the back of the head.” The AFP reported witnessing at least 20 corpses, including one with his hands tied, on a single Bucharest street. An open Ukrainian passport lay next to him, while two other people had white fabric tied over their upper arms.
KyivKyivAll were dressed in civilian clothing, including winter coats, jackets or tracksuit tops, trousers or jogging bottoms, and trainers or boots, according to the AFP. In the wake of Bucha’s atrocities, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was disgusted and backed the International Criminal Court’s investigation into possible war crimes in Ukraine. Claims that Russia has committed war crimes and targeted civilians are denied by Moscow. A fourth of the Ukrainian population has been uprooted since Russia sent troops into Ukraine as part of a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbor. but Russia has failed to conquer any significant cities.
Even as Russian air and missile attacks decreased on Saturday, Ukraine’s military reported that Russian troops retreating from near Kyiv were laying explosives. “They are mining all this territory,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a televised address. Even the bodies of dead people are mined,” he says. He didn’t provide any proof. Near Kyiv, in the village of Dmytrivka, Ukraine’s emergency services discovered more than 1,500 bombs in a single day. A request for comment on the alleged mining by Reuters was not answered by Russia’s defense ministry. As a sign of good faith in the ongoing peace talks, Russia has reduced its military presence in the vicinity of Kyiv. After suffering huge losses in Kiev, Russia, according to Ukraine and its allies, was obliged to turn its focus to east Ukrainian territory.
The change, however, does not mean that the country has been spared from more than five weeks of fighting or that the more than 4 million refugees who have fled Ukraine will return any time soon. Zelenskyy said he expects the war in the east to be violent and that places Russian forces have retreated from will face missile and rocket assaults from afar. At the end of his nightly video address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed that his troops would not let the Russians flee without a struggle. They’re annihilating anyone and everything in their path. The beleaguered city of Mariupol in the south-eastern part of the country was also in the sights of Moscow’s offensive in eastern Ukraine. Moscow-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian troops for eight years in the largely Russian-speaking Donbas area, which includes the port city of Mariupol.
After his soldiers failed to secure Kyiv and other key cities, military analysts believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to take over the region. Residents of Mariupol were supposed to be evacuated on Saturday, but the Red Cross had not yet arrived in the city. A day earlier, local authorities said that Russian military was preventing the Red Cross from operating in their area. Russian lawyer and activist Mark Feygin spoke with Oleksiy Arestovych, a Zelenskyy adviser, who indicated that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to allow 45 buses to travel to Mariupol “in the next days” to evacuate inhabitants.
Another 765 Mariupol citizens evacuating on Saturday arrived in Zaporizhzhia, a Ukrainian city still under Ukrainian control, according to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, according to the AP. Russian soldiers searching for Ukrainian militants routinely blocked residents fleeing the beleaguered city, according to those who made it out.