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Ukraine ‘retakes whole Kyiv region’ as Russia looks east

Bodies found scattered on the streets as Russian troops pull back from the capital to focus on southeastern Ukraine.

A worker of a funeral service uncovers a body of killed civilian, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the village of Nova Basan, in Chernihiv region, Ukraine April 1, 2022.
A funeral service worker uncovers a a civilian’s body as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the village of Nova Basan, Chernihiv region, April 1

Ukraine’s defence ministry says its forces have seized control of the Kyiv region from Russian troops as officials warned that the departing soldiers were creating a “catastrophic” situation for civilians by leaving behind mines.

The announcement on Saturday marks the first time Ukraine has claimed control of the capital region since Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

“The whole Kyiv region is liberated from the invader,” Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Malyar, wrote on Facebook.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Kyiv DAY 39
(Al Jazeera)
There was no immediate Russian comment on the claim.

In total, Ukraine’s troops have retaken more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv, according to officials. The recaptured towns bore the scars of five weeks of fighting, with destroyed armoured vehicles, military gear and dozens of bodies lying scattered over streets.

In Bucha, a town northwest of the capital, Ukrainian soldiers used cables to pull the bodies of civilians off the streets out of fear that Russian forces may have left them booby-trapped.

Bucha’s Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said authorities there have buried 280 people in a mass grave and said the victims included women as well as a 14-year-old boy.

“All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head,” Fedoruk said.

A man stands next to a civilian vehicle that was destroyed during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces that still contains the dead body of the driver
A man stands next to a civilian vehicle that was destroyed during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces that still has the driver’s body inside, in a town outside Kyiv [Vadim Ghirda/ AP]
On one street in Bucha, the AFP reported seeing at least 20 corpses, including one with his hands tied.

An open Ukrainian passport lay on the ground next to him, while two other people had a white cloth tied around their upper arms.

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