Sunday, April 3, 2022

Ukraine said on Saturday its forces had seized back all areas around Kyiv; Ukrainians Count Dead, Assess Damage; Diminished Russian force will try to carve off eastern Ukraine after setbacks; Retreating Russians leave many mines behind, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Ukraine claims control over Kyiv region as Russia looks east:
Ukraine said on Saturday its forces had seized back all areas around Kyiv, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched the invasion.
As Russian troops regrouped for battles in east Ukraine, towns surrounding Kyiv bore scars of five weeks of fighting. Dead civilians laid scattered over streets, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russian forces of leaving behind mines.
Ukraine's troops have retaken more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv since Russia pulled back from the area this week, Ukrainian officials said.
"The whole Kyiv region is liberated from the invader," Ukraine's Deputy Defence Minister, Hanna Malyar, wrote on Facebook. There was no Russian comment on the claim, which Reuters could not immediately verify.
In the recaptured town of Bucha, reached by Reuters, the sprawled remains of more than a dozen bodies lined one road. A mass grave in the grounds of a church was still open, with hands and feet poking through the red clay heaped on top. --->READ MORE HERE
genya savilov/AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainians Count Dead, Assess Damage After Russian Pullback Near Kyiv:
Ukrainian forces cleared mines and counted the dead around Kyiv on Saturday following recent Russian troop withdrawals, as Moscow shifted military operations to the country’s east.
Ukrainian troops had retaken control of the entire Kyiv region, said Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Malyar. Russian forces, in their partial pullback, gave up scores of towns and villages after Ukrainian resistance led to heavy losses.
“They left in their wake a complete disaster and many dangers,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an overnight address, referring to the Russians. He added that the region remained unsafe. “Firstly, the bombing might continue. Secondly, they are mining this entire territory,” he said.
Mr. Zelensky said retreating Russian forces had placed mines in houses, laid trip wires and booby-trapped corpses.
The Ukrainian president singled out the cities of Kharkiv and Mariupol as potential targets of renewed attacks as Russia repositions its forces. “In the east of our country, the situation remains extremely difficult,” Mr. Zelensky said. “I emphasize once again: Hard battles lie ahead.”
The Kyiv regional military administration published a video on Saturday saying Ukrainian armed forces had retaken more than 30 settlements around the capital. Speaking in one of the villages, with charred Russian tanks in the background, the head of the Kyiv military administration, Oleksandr Pavluk, said Ukrainian forces had ambushed a retreating Russian column.
The Ukrainian military is assessing the damage in each town, he said, and emergency services are clearing explosives. “After this, we will give permission to local residents to return,” Mr. Pavluk said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Mr. Zelensky, posted a photograph on Twitter showing the bodies of three men in the town of Bucha he said Russian forces had shot dead. One appeared to have his hands bound. --->READ MORE HERE
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