Ukrainian officials have claimed that they have discovered more than 1,200 bodies in mass graves around the Kyiv region. This comes amid a sudden escalation in shelling by Russian forces in the eastern regions of the country throughout the weekend, as Ukrainian officials warn citizens in the east of the country to flee from a massive new Russian offensive.
Ukraine has alleged Russia of serious war crimes including mass genocide, while Russia has been completely in denial. Instead, Moscow has accused Kyiv of executing Russian prisoners of wars. Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia is gearing up for another major attack on Kyiv and other cities which could happened anytime.
Russia's War Crimes
On Sunday, Ukraine's prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said that 1,222 bodies have been found in the region around Kyiv so far. "We have actually now, only for this morning, 1,222 dead people only in Kyiv region," Venediktova told in an interview to Sky News.
The discovery of 1,200 bodies till now, marks the highest number of casualties found in an area since the war began on February 24, this year.
During her interview with the BBC, she stated that there are already 5,600 cases of alleged war crimes in the country. According to Venediktova, the war-torn country has identified at least 500 suspects, including high Russian military figures, lawmakers, and President Vladimir Putin, who are all linked to the attack.
According to reports, there were horrifying scenes in and around Kyiv. Of the 1,222 bodies found two were at least two were discovered inside a manhole at a petrol station on a highway outside of the city on Sunday, with the remains dressed in a mixture of civilian and military gear.
One distraught woman peered into the manhole before breaking down, clawing at the earth and wailing, 'my son, my son'.
Separately, the UN said that there have been 4,232 civilian casualties in Ukraine so far, with 1,793 killed and 2,439 injured.
Innocent Lives Lost
Venediktova's statement came nearly two days after Ukraine witnessed one of the most terrible occurrences of missile assaults on a train station. Initially, the Kramatorsk station bombing was said to have killed at least 30 civilians, but the region's governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, later announced that the death toll had risen to 52.
The mass graves are being discovered only now as Russian forces continue to retaliate. According to reports, these people are likely to have been killed weeks back.
Several settlements surrounding Kyiv, including Makariv, Bucha, Irpin, and Dmytrivka, were under continual bombardment as Russian soldiers launched an onslaught towards the city in the initial weeks of Moscow's invasion. News from the interiors of these places have thus started emerging only now, with the international community condemning the mass murder of civilians.
Meanwhile, residents have been advised to evacuate the country's east ahead of "major conflicts," but the bombing of civilians at a train station in Kramatorsk has made many people too terrified to flee.
This comes amid reports that two civilians were killed in Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv due to heavy shelling in the northeast, on Sunday morning - the day after 10 civilians, including a child, died in bombing to the southeast of the city.