Dozens of Ukrainians found in grave near kyiv as battle rages in the east

Dozens of Ukrainians found in grave near kyiv as battle rages in the east
  • Mass grave found near kyiv, says official
  • Zelenskiy sees ‘hard battle’, urges oil embargo, seeks weapons
  • Johnson promises vehicles, anti-ship missiles
  • Nine trains prepared for evacuation in the east, says governor

kyiv, April 10 (Reuters) – A grave containing dozens of Ukrainian civilians has been found in the village of Buzova near kyiv, an official said, the latest reported mass grave to be discovered as Russian forces pull back from their offensive in the capital and concentrate their assault. in the East

Taras Didych, a leader of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch near a gas station. The number of dead has not yet been confirmed.

“Now we are coming back to life, but during the occupation we had our ‘hotspots’, many civilians were killed,” Didych said on Saturday.

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Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

The rise in civilian casualties has triggered a new wave of international condemnation, in particular for the hundreds of deaths in the city of Bucha, northwest of kyiv, which until last week was occupied by Russian forces.

Ukraine and the West have accused Russian forces of war crimes in Bucha.

Russia has denied targeting civilians in what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its southern neighbor. Ukraine and Western nations have dismissed this as a baseless pretext for war.

Russia has failed to take a major city since the invasion began on February 24, but Ukraine says Russia is massing its forces in the east for a major assault and has urged people to flee.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia was seeking to establish a land corridor from Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, and the eastern Donbas region, which is partly held by Moscow-backed separatists.

Some cities are under heavy bombardment with tens of thousands of people unable to evacuate.

“This will be a tough battle, we believe in this fight and in our victory. We are ready to fight and simultaneously look for diplomatic ways to end this war,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a speech on Saturday night.

Zelenskiy said Russia’s use of force was “a catastrophe that will inevitably affect everyone.”

“Russian aggression was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone… the entire European project is a target for Russia,” he said.

“Russia can still afford to live in illusions and bring new military forces and new equipment to our land. And that means we need even more sanctions and even more weapons for our state.”

Zelenskiy called on the West to impose a full embargo on Russian energy products and to supply Ukraine with more weapons.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Zelenskiy in kyiv on Saturday and promised armored vehicles and anti-ship missile systems, along with additional support for loans from the World Bank.

Britain will also increase its sanctions against Russia and stop using Russian hydrocarbons.

Johnson, speaking to reporters with Zelenskiy, said supporting Ukraine was intended to ensure that “it can never be intimidated again, never blackmailed again, never threatened in the same way again.”

Johnson was the last foreign leader to visit kyiv after Russian forces withdrew from the area. read more

The visits are a sign that kyiv is returning to some degree of normalcy.

Some residents are returning and cafes and restaurants are reopening. Italy said it planned to reopen its embassy this month.

NINE TRAINS

But in the east, calls by Ukrainian authorities for civilians to flee have become more urgent following a missile attack on Friday on a train station in the Donetsk region city of Kramatorsk, packed with women, children and old people trying to get out.

Ukrainian officials said more than 50 people were killed.

Russia has denied responsibility, saying the missiles used in the attack were only used by the Ukrainian military. The United States says it believes Russian forces were responsible.

Reuters was unable to verify details of the attack.

Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksander Honcharenko said he hoped only 50,000 to 60,000 of the city’s 220,000 residents would remain as people flee.

Residents of the besieged Luhansk region would have nine trains to leave on Sunday, the region’s governor, Serhiy Gaidai, wrote on the Telegram messaging service.

British military intelligence said Russia’s withdrawal from the capital region revealed “disproportionate” attacks on civilians. read more

Russia’s invasion has forced about a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes, turned cities into rubble and killed or injured thousands.

The European Union on Friday adopted new sanctions against Russia, including import bans on coal, wood, chemicals and other products. Russia’s oil and gas imports remain intact. read more

Ukraine has banned all imports from Russia, a key prewar trading partner with annual imports valued at some $6 billion.

“The enemy’s budget will not receive these funds, which will reduce its potential to finance the war,” Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko wrote on her Facebook page.

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Reuters bureau reports; Written by Michael Perry; Edited by Robert Birsell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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