Photo by Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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As of Saturday, the Ukrainian military has taken the entirety of the region containing the country’s capital city of Kyiv.
In a statement shared on Facebook, Hanna Maliar, the Ukrainian defense minister, said, “Irpin, Bucha, Gostomel, and the whole Kyiv region were liberated from the invader.”
The Daily Mail reported that the towns of Irpin and Bucha — from which people would previously commute to and from Kyiv — were reclaimed by Ukrainian forces earlier this week. Both towns have reportedly suffered high civilian death tolls and experienced large-scale destruction.
The mayor of Bucha said that 280 people had been buried in a mass grave while corpses littered the city’s streets, while at least 200 people have been killed in Irpin — which is often considered a suburb of Kyiv.
There was also heavy fighting in Gostomel as both Russian and Ukrainian forces sought to gain control of the region’s airfield.
Ukrainian officials have said that Russia’s current process of withdrawing from the northern parts of Ukraine is strategic so that the Russian military can refocus its forces on the country’s eastern and southern regions.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to congratulate Ukraine’s “brave armed forces” for successfully pushing back the invading Russian army.
Ukraine’s apparent victory at retaking Kyiv comes as broken-down Russian artillery litter the highways that connect the city to the rest of the country.
The Daily Mail said, “As Ukrainian units advance, they’re met with burned-out tanks and heavily-armored personnel transport vehicles that line the roads once populated by commuters that would have been heading in or out of the capital.”
Despite the off-putting nature of abundant worn-down and broken machinery, the Ukrainian military apparently continues to discover gruesome relics of war, potentially indicating that the Russians continued to commit war crimes as they withdrew from Kyiv.
Reportedly, Ukrainian troops found the bodies of 20 men dressed in civilian clothing on a single street. Eyewitnesses said that one of the corpses had his hands tied.
The dead bodies were strewn across roads of residential areas and suburban towns.
Zelenskkyy warned that the withdrawing Russian forces were leaving behind “catastrophic” situations by placing land mines outside of residential areas, abandoning their broken-down equipment, and the “bodies of those killed.”
The Ukrainian forces were also successful in retaking control of the infamous Chernobyl nuclear plant.
The Russian invasion has reportedly displaced 4 million Ukrainian refugees.
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