(Reuters) – Ukraine’s human rights ombudswoman said on Wednesday more than 400 residents were missing in the town of Hostomel after a 35-day occupation by Russian forces, and she quoted witnesses as saying some of them had been killed.
Ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova did not say how many people may have been killed in Hostomel, near the capital Kyiv, and cited no direct evidence for her assertion. She did not say who the witnesses were or provide any other details.
Russian forces seized Hostomel, which is close to an airfield, soon after invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.
“More than 400 people have gone missing in 35 days of occupation in Hostomel. Witnesses say some were killed, but their whereabouts are still unknown,” Denisova said.
She did not say how many people may have left Hostomel since the start of the Russian invasion.
Russia did not immediately comment on her remarks. Moscow denies targeting civilians in Ukraine.
Kyiv is already looking into other reports of alleged atrocities, including in the town of Bucha, outside the capital. Tied bodies shot at close range were found there after Russian troops withdrew, and other bodies stuck out of a mass grave at a church.
The Kremlin has said allegations that Russian forces committed war crimes by executing civilians including in Bucha were a “monstrous forgery” aimed at denigrating the Russian army.
(Reporting by Max Hunder, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Hugh Lawson)