Russia sends bombs as Ukraine marks somber Bucha anniversary

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Russia on Friday used its long-range arsenal to re-bomb several areas of Ukraine, killing at least two civilians and damaging homes as Ukrainians commemorated the anniversary of Bucha’s liberation.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Bucha, a city near Kiev, is a symbol of the atrocities committed by the Russian military since then full-scale invasion started in February 2022.

“We will never forgive,” Zelenskyy said in a post on his Telegram channel. “We will punish every offender.”

Kremlin forces occupied Bucha weeks after invading Ukraine and stayed for about a month. When Ukrainian troops retook the city, they ran into it terrible scenes: Bodies of women, young and old men, in civilian clothes, lying in the street where they fell, or in yards and houses.

Other bodies were found in a mass grave. Hundreds of bodies were unearthed over weeks and months, including some of children.

Russian soldiers called it “Zachistka” – according to “cleansing” – when phone calls were tapped. an investigation by The Associated Press and the PBS series Frontline.

Such organized cruelty – also used by Russian forces in previous conflicts, notably in Chechnya – was later repeated in Russian-occupied territories across Ukraine.

More than 1,400 civilian deaths, including 37 children, have been documented by Ukrainian authorities, Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy said more than 175 people were found in mass graves and alleged torture chambers. Ukraine and other countries, including the US, have demanded it Russia responds for war crimes.

Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin claimed on Friday that many of the dead civilians were tortured. Almost 100 Russian soldiers are suspected of war crimes, he said on his Telegram channel, and charges have been brought against 35 of them.

Two Russian soldiers have already been sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Ukrainian court for illegally detaining civilians and looting.

“I am convinced that all these crimes are not accidental. This is part of Russia’s planned strategy aimed at destroying Ukraine as a state and Ukrainians as a nation,” Kostin said.

Russia has continued its bombing of Ukraine with the war for a second year.

In addition to killing at least two civilians in Ukraine, 14 other civilians were injured early Friday when Russia fired rockets, grenades, exploding drones and sliding bombs, Ukraine’s presidential office said.

Two Russian rockets hit the city of Kramatorsk in the eastern Donetsk region, damaging eight residential buildings. A civilian was killed and five others injured in the strikes across the Donetsk region, the office said.

Nine Russian rockets hit Kharkiv, damaging residential buildings, roads, gas stations and a prison. The Russians also used exploding drones to attack the Kharkiv region.

Russian forces also shelled the southern city of Kherson, killing one resident and wounding two others. The village of Lviv in the Kherson region was hit by glide bombs, damaging about 10 houses.

The barrage also hit the city of Zaporizhia and its outskirts, causing large fires.


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