Ukraine says more than 1,200 bodies found in mass graves around Kyiv

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

WARNING: Graphic images and content below

Watch: Ukraine says it has found more than 1,200 bodies in Kyiv region

More than 1,200 bodies have been found in mass graves in the area around Kyiv, Ukraine has claimed.

It comes as the UK says it is considering sanctions for Russian troops and generals suspected of committing war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine.

On Sunday, Ukraine's prosector general, Iryna Venediktova, accused Russia of killing civilians every day.

She told Sky News that 1,222 bodies had been found in towns and villages surrounding the capital Kyiv.

Ukraine said 132 bodies were found in the town of Makariv, 30 miles west of Kyiv. The town's mayor said all those killed had died from bullet wounds.

TOPSHOT - A Ukrainian mother reacts after the body of her son was discovered in a manhole at a petrol station in the outskirts of the Buzova village, west of Kyiv, on April 10, 2022. - At least two bodies, appearing to be clad in a mix of civilian and military clothing, were discovered in a manhole at the back of a destroyed motorway petrol station. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
A Ukrainian mother breaks down in tears after the body of her son was discovered in a manhole at a petrol station on the outskirts of Buzova village, west of Kyiv, on Saturday. (AFP via Getty Images)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Ukrainian men wrap the body of a relative which was discovered in a manhole at a petrol station in the outskirts of the Buzova village, west of Kyiv, on April 10, 2022. - At least two bodies, appearing to be clad in a mix of civilian and military clothing, were discovered in a manhole at the back of a destroyed motorway petrol station. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian men wrap the body of a relative whose remains were discovered in a manhole at a petrol station in the outskirts of Buzova village, west of Kyiv, on Saturday. (AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Residents look at a destroyed Russian tank on the outskirts of Buzova village, west of Kyiv, on April 10, 2020. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
Residents look at a destroyed Russian tank on the outskirts of Buzova village, west of Kyiv, on Saturday. (AFP via Getty Images)

Almost half of the town has been destroyed, according to reports, after it was occupied by Russian troops during the invasion. It was seized back by Ukrainian forces on 22 March.

A number of bodies were also discovered in a mass grave in the village of Buzova, west of Kyiv, Ukrainian officials claimed. The village was occupied by Russian troops for weeks before it was recaptured. The number of dead there is unknown.

It follows reports of more than 400 bodies being discovered in mass graves in the city of Bucha, 16 miles north west of Kyiv, after Russian forces pulled out.

BUCHA, UKRAINE - APRIL 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) Officials exhume the bodies of civilians who died during the Russian attacks, from mass graves, backyard of St. Andrea's Church in Bucha, Ukraine on April 10, 2022. (Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Officials exhume the bodies of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, from mass graves at the rear of a church on Saturday. (Getty Images)
Local women react as they try to recognise their relatives among the bodies of civilians who Ukrainian officials say were killed during Russia's invasion and then buried in a mass grave in the town of Bucha, outside Kyiv, Ukraine April 8, 2022.  REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Ukrainian women wait to identify their relatives among the dead at mass graves in Bucha, Ukraine. (Reuters)

Veneditktova said that in the area around Kyiv alone they had found the bodies of 1,222 dead.

“Of course, what we saw on the ground in all regions of Ukraine is war crimes, crimes against humanity, and we do everything to fix it,” she told Sky News.

British prime minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday to meet Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Johnson said Russian president Vladimir Putin had “permanently polluted his reputation” through the actions of his forces.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stand in front of the Presidential Office building after walking in central Kyiv, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine April 9, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT
Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and British prime minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv on Saturday. (Reuters)

Britain’s Ministry of Defence said the retreating Russian troops had left behind evidence of the “disproportionate targeting of non-combatants” as they pulled back from the area around Kyiv.

In an intelligence assessment released on Saturday evening, it said this included “the presence of mass graves, the fatal use of hostages as human shields, and mining of civilian infrastructure”.

On Sunday, policing minister Kit Malthouse said the UK could start targeting Russian troops and generals suspected of committing war crimes in Ukraine with sanctions.

He said the UK was determined to do all it could to help bring to justice those responsible for the “truly awful crimes” which had taken place during the invasion.

Read more: Ukraine says Boris Johnson visit 'brings us closer to victory'

He told Sky News: “We are putting as much support into the conflict as we possibly can to support the Ukrainians in their fight, we will do the same to bring those to justice who have perpetrated some truly awful crimes during this dreadful time.”

Following Johnson’s visit to Kyiv, Downing Street announced the UK would be sending 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems on top of the latest £100m package of military support announced last week.

The UK support was welcomed by the Ukrainian president, who urged other Western allies to follow suit as Russian forces regroup for what is expected to be a new offensive on the eastern Donbas region which is part-held by pro-Moscow separatists.

In its latest intelligence assessment, the Ministry of Defence said that in response to mounting losses, the Russians were trying to bolster their forces by recalling troops who had been discharged since 2012.

Watch: Boris Johnson makes surprise visit to Ukraine

Click on this image to see all Yahoo News UK's latest content on the Ukraine crisis
Click on this image to see all Yahoo News UK's latest content on the Ukraine crisis
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting