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More than 900 civilian bodies found in Kyiv region, says police

KYIV, UKRAINE (AP) – The bodies of more than 900 civilians have been discovered in the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital following Russia’s withdrawal – most of them fatally shot, police said on Friday, an indication that many people were “simply executed”.

The jarring number emerged shortly after Russia’s Defence Ministry promised to step up missile attacks on Kyiv in response to Ukraine’s alleged assaults on Russian territory. That ominous warning followed the stunning loss of Moscow’s flagship in the Black Sea, which a senior United States defence official said on Friday was indeed hit by at least one Ukrainian missile.

Amid its threats, Moscow continued preparations for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine. Fighting also went on in the pummeled southern port city of Mariupol, where locals reported seeing Russian troops digging up bodies. In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, shelling of a residential area killed seven people, including a seven-month-old child, and wounded 34, according to regional Governor Oleh Sinehubov.

Around Kyiv, head of the capital’s regional police force Andriy Nebytov said bodies were abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating 95 per cent died from gunshot wounds.

“Consequently, we understand that under the (Russian) occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,” Nebytov said.

More bodies are being found every day under rubble and in mass graves, he added, with the largest number found in Bucha, where there were more than 350.

A Ukrainian woman mourns her son killed in an attack in the outskirts of Kyiv. PHOTO: AP