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Ukraine says 410 civilian bodies found near Kyiv in recent days

Neighbours gather next to a mass grave in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Neighbours gather next to a mass grave in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general says the bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian troops.

Iryna Venediktova says on Facebook that the bodies were recovered Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She says 140 of them have undergone examination by prosecutors and other specialists.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says the mayor of the village of Motyzhyn in the Kyiv region was murdered while being held by Russian forces. Vereshchuk adds that there are 11 mayors and community heads in Russian captivity across Ukraine.

In a video address Sunday, Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denounces the allegedly targeted killings of civilians in towns that the Russians occupied, calling the killers “freaks who do not know how to do otherwise.” He warns that more atrocities may be revealed if Russian forces are driven out of other occupied areas.

International leaders have condemned the reported attacks in the Kyiv-area towns after harrowing accounts from civilians and graphic images of bodies with hands tied behind their backs.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has rejected the claims of atrocities against civilians in Bucha and other suburbs of Kyiv.

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