Ukraine’s top prosecutor says 410 bodies have been found in cities since Russian forces retreated near Kiev, as part of an investigation into possible war crimes, according to Reuters. However, Ukraine’s attorney general Irina Venedikova said some of the alleged witnesses were “shocked” by their testimony and could not be reached for comment.
The mayor of the city of Pucha, 23 miles northwest of Kiev, liberated by Ukrainian forces, told Reuters that 300 residents had been killed when militants from Chechnya took control of the area.
Russia has denied allegations that its forces killed civilians in Pucha. Ukrainian prosecutors were able to enter the cities of Pucha, Irbin and Hostomal for the first time on Sunday, and Venedikova said they needed more time to determine the extent of the crimes.
“We have to work with witnesses,” he told Reuters. “Today’s people are so depressed that they can not speak physically.”
For his part, Ukrainian Interior Minister Denis Monastirsky said it was clear that hundreds of civilians had been killed, but did not want to say exactly how many were there.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of genocide against the Ukrainian people, saying in an interview: “We have more than 100 national races. It is about the annihilation of those national races.”
Zelenskyy made those comments after being warned that the country wanted to capture the east and south of the country. He also said that Ukrainian forces had regained control of the Kiev and Chernihiv communities.
Zelenskyy has called for a ceasefire ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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