Ukraine has recovered 410 civilian bodies from areas it recently retook from the Russian army in the wider Kyiv region, its prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said Sunday.
Venediktova told national television: “410 bodies of dead civilians were evacuated out of the liberated territories of the Kyiv region. Forensic experts have already examined 140”.
Ukraine, which retook control of the whole Kyiv region from the Russian army this weekend, has accused Moscow of a “deliberate massacre” in the town of Bucha, 30 kilometres (19 miles) north-west of the capital.
Bucha mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told AFP on Saturday that 280 bodies were buried in mass graves.
Civilian bodies were also found in the street as Ukrainian forces regained access to the town.
On Saturday, AFP journalists saw at least 20 bodies in a single street in Bucha. One had his arms tied behind his back. All were wearing civilian clothing.
Local officials showed AFP a mass grave in the town on Sunday, where some of the bodies were still not under the earth, saying 57 people were buried there.
Russia has denied killing civilians, saying the accusations were “another production of the Kyiv regime and the Western media.”
“During the time this settlement was under the control of Russian armed forces, not a single local resident suffered from any violent actions,” Moscow’s defence ministry said Sunday.
The Russian army occupied Bucha three days into its invasion, launched by President Vladimir Putin on February 24.
Ukraine has also accused Russia of killing civilians in the nearby town of Irpin, that has — like Bucha — suffered vast destruction.
Authorities said at least 200 people were killed in Irpin — which also fell to the Russian army in the first days of the war — since Moscow’s launched its offensive.