KYIV (Reuters) – The bodies of 1,150 civilians have been recovered in Ukraine’s Kyiv region since Russia’s invasion and 50-70% of them have bullet wounds from small arms, Kyiv police said on Thursday.
Kyiv regional police chief Andriy Nebytov said in a video posted on Twitter that most of the bodies had been found in the town of Bucha, where hundreds of corpses have been discovered since Russian forces withdrew.
Ukraine says the civilians found dead in Bucha were killed by Russian forces during their occupation of the area. Reuters has not been able to verify the number of people found dead in Bucha or the circumstances of their deaths.
Russia has denied targeting civilians since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. It has called allegations that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha while they occupied the town a “monstrous forgery” aimed at denigrating the Russian army.
Reuters has asked the Russian Defence Ministry for comment on the latest Kyiv police statement.
“To date, we have found, examined and handed over to forensic institutions 1,150 bodies of dead civilians,” Nebytov said in the video, in which he stood in the rubble of buildings destroyed during heavy fighting in the Kyiv region.
“I want to emphasise that these are civilians, not military,” he said.
The video was posted on the day that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was due to hold talks in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Ukrainian television showed Guterres visiting the town of Borodyanka, where Zelenskiy has said the situation is “significantly more dreadful” than in nearby Bucha.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Writing by Timothy Heritage, Editing by Angus MacSwan)