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The mayor of Ukraine shows dead bodies in the liberated city of Bucha According to Reuters

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© Reuters. Image of Ukrainian soldiers on their tanks as they drive on the street, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine April 2, 2022. REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra

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By Simon Gardner

BUCHA, Ukraine (Reuters) – The mayor of a Ukrainian city on the northern outskirts of Kyiv on Sunday showed journalists dead bodies in an area that, he said, Chechen fighters controlled for the month that Russian forces occupied the city.

The mayor, Anatoliy Fedoruk, showed a Reuters group that two corpses with white cloths tied around their hands – the mayor said – were something people were forced to wear by fighters from Chechnya, an area in southern Russia that deploying troops to Ukraine to support Russian Forces.

A corpse appeared to be handcuffed by a white sheet, and had been shot in the mouth.

Fedoruk said: “In any war there is some regulation about the participation of civilians. The Russians have proven that they consciously kill civilians.”

“They actually got (Russian President Vladimir) Putin the green light for a hunting trip and they shot the Ukrainians.”

Reuters news agency, which was brought to the scene by Ukrainian authorities, could not immediately verify the mayor’s allegations.

The Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow did not immediately respond to a request for comment when asked Sunday about the bodies found in Bucha.

The Kremlin has denied war crimes in Ukraine. It says that its “special military operation” is aimed at weakening the Ukrainian armed forces and is targeting military facilities rather than carrying out attacks on civilian areas.

Asked about the separate war crime charges on March 1, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a meeting with reporters: “We categorically deny this.” He denied accusations of Russian airstrikes on civilian targets and the use of fake bombs and vacuum bombs.

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on March 21 that the Russian operation was being carried out by professional and well-armed forces, and denied Ukraine’s claim that Russian forces had attacked illegally. any civilian object.

Bucha is located 37 km (23 mi) northwest of Kyiv city center.

Ukraine said on Saturday its forces had recaptured all areas around Kyiv and that it had full control of the capital region for the first time since February 24. Russia has withdrawn its forces. once threatened Kyiv from the north to regroup for the battle in eastern Ukraine.

On Saturday, Reuters journalists saw bodies dressed in civilian clothes lying on the streets of Bucha, still unburied, with burned corpses of Russian tanks and armored vehicles surrounding them.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of Putin, sent brigades to Ukraine to help Russian troops when they invaded Ukraine on February 24.

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