The entire kyiv region is “liberated” from the presence of Russian troops, Ukraine said on Saturday evening.
The soldiers are indeed retreating towards the east, as indicated by Moscow during the week. Dozens of localities located around the Ukrainian capital could therefore be taken over, such as Irpin, Boutcha or Gostomel, said Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar.
However, this Russian withdrawal revealed possible abuses against civilians. Indeed, nearly 300 people had to be buried “in mass graves”, the mayor of Boutcha told AFP. “All these people were shot, killed with a bullet to the back of the head,” he testified. Women and men of all ages are among the victims.
Hands tied behind the back
Corpses of at least twenty men in civilian clothes were also seen by an AFP journalist. One had his hands tied behind his back and a Ukrainian passport had been opened and placed next to him.
On Twitter, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was “horrified by the atrocities in Boutcha and other cities in Ukraine”. Reports of “Russian forces targeting innocent civilians are despicable. The UK is working with other countries to gather evidence and support the war crimes investigation” by the International Criminal Court, she added.
In addition, the Ukrainian authorities have also announced the death of photographer and documentalist Maks Levine, who has been missing for three weeks and found dead near kyiv. According to them, he was the victim of shots from Russian soldiers.
Baltic countries stop importing Russian gas
As a reminder, Russia has decided to quickly withdraw its troops from northern Ukraine, to concentrate its invasion in Donbass (east) and the south of the country. Negotiations to try to end the war continue.
On Saturday, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Russia’s neighboring Baltic countries, said they had stopped importing its natural gas. This represented 93%, 100% and 41.8% of their consumption respectively. “If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too,” said the head of storage company Conexus Baltic Grid.