Earlier this week, Russia announced it was pulling forces out of some areas of northern Ukraine around the capital of Kyiv, the move was met with scepticism by Ukraine and the West
Image: NurPhoto/PA Images)
As the Kremlin’s forces withdraw from areas around Kyiv or are forced back by Ukrainian counterattacks, they are sabotaging houses, roads and even bodies, it has been claimed.
Over the past few days Ukraine has retaken over 30 towns and villages in the Kyiv region.
This has happened since Russia ’s announcement this week that it was going to scale down its military operations around the capital and focus its efforts in the pro-Russian east.
Some have speculated this is in an attempt to limit the country’s losses and reinforce its forces who are already stretched thin.
In a video address released today, President Zelensky said: “In the north of our country, the invaders are leaving.
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Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
“It is slow but noticeable. In some places they are being kicked out with fighting. Elsewhere they’re abandoning the positions themselves.
“They are mining all this territory. Houses are mined, equipment is mined, even the bodies of dead people.”
Due to these concerns, emergency services have told people in the newly liberated regions to be extra-vigilant.
They have said more than 1,500 explosives have been found in one day of searching in the village of Dmytrivka, west of the capital.
Zelensky went on to say that efforts were ongoing to clear mines and make the area safe, but for now residents were advised against returning.
He added: “It is still impossible to return to normal life as it was,”.
The shocking claims come amidst a surprise retreat from Russian forces.
The unprovoked invasion of neighbouring Ukraine by Russian forces on the command of President Vladimir Putin has sparked bloodshed and chaos.
With Putin’s troops shelling cities across Ukraine and the nation’s army vowing to fight to the death to defend their land, observers fear the death toll will be enormous.
On Sunday, February 27, Ukraine’s health minister reported that at least 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed since the Russian invasion began, and more than 1,000 wounded.
On March 1, Ukraine claimed to have killed 5,710 Russian soldiers since the start of the invasion.
These claims have not yet been independently verified but a human rights monitoring team from the United Nations has confirmed more than 500 civilian casualties in Ukraine.
At least 136 people have been killed, including 13 children, a UN report showed on Tuesday.
Bachelet, addressing the opening session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, previously said: “Most of these civilians were killed by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and air strikes. The real figures are, I fear, considerably higher.”
It comes as Ukraine’s President accused Russia of ‘state terrorism’ on Tuesday after the indiscriminate bombing of Kharkiv.
Moscow’s forces initially surged across Ukraine, attacking the country on multiple fronts and coming within a few miles of the capital.
However, since then, reports have suggested that Russian forces have become stretched thin, with videos emerging showing armoured and personnel vehicles running out of fuel.
On top of that, there have been numerous claims of low morale amongst Moscow’s troops and even mutinies.
That has reportedly led to Russian generals and military commanders coming to the frontline, which has led to at least 13 top army leaders being killed already.
After an objectively unsuccessful invasion so far, the move now comes as an attempt to shore up parts of the invasion in more pro-Russian areas, where they can have more reliable supply lines.
General Staff of the Armed Force)
This comes five weeks into Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
His country finds itself outcast on the international stage, with only China and India the major powers yet to denounce its actions.
A series of economic sanctions have hit the nation hard, but some have argued they still haven’t gone far enough.
Chelsea owner Roman Ambramovich was one of the Russian oligarchs hit by the economic actions.
Despite previously threatening people with legal action over suggesting he had a close relationship with Putin, Ambramovich reportedly flew to Russia on the day of the invasion to speak to the Russian president in person, the FT reported .
The paper was told another oligarch was surprised at how close the two were.