The bodies of more than 1,000 civilians are being stored in morgues in the Kyiv region after Russian troops withdrew from areas around the capital, a senior Ukrainian official told AFP Thursday.
“1,020 bodies (of) civilians, only civilians, in the areas of all the Kyiv region,” were discovered, Olga Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, told AFP in Borodyanka.
“These are only civilians collected from buildings, but also on the streets,” she said, specifying that the deaths date to the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Her comments came after police in the Kyiv region said they had discovered the remains of nine civilians in Borodyanka, some 54 kilometres (34 miles) from the capital, buried in communal graves.
Oleksandr Pavliuk, the Kyiv regional governor, said the dead were “either killed or tortured to death during the hostilities.”
“Forensic experts are now examining the bodies, but what we saw was hands tied behind the back, their legs tied and shot through the limbs, and in the back of the head,” he added.
The pullback of Russian forces from towns and villages around Kyiv left a trail of civilian deaths, beginning with discoveries in Bucha, that have led Ukrainian officials to accuse Russia of genocide.
At the beginning of April, prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova told journalists that Ukraine had recovered 410 civilian bodies from areas it retook from the Russian army in the wider Kyiv region.