Communal workers prepare to carry a corpse in a body bag in a street of Bucha, not far from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on 3 April 2022.
KYIV – Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
OUTRAGE OF CIVILIAN KILLINGS
Global outrage grows over the discovery of dozens of bodies in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, some with their hands bound, after the withdrawal of Russian forces from the area west of Kyiv.
The UN’s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet says the images from Bucha point to “possible war crimes”, as does French President Emmanuel Macron.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki calls for an international investigation into what he terms a “genocide” – a term also used by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky brands Russian troops “murderers.”
The Kremlin denies Russian forces killed civilians, claiming that the images of dead bodies in Bucha are “fakes” produced by “Ukrainian radicals.”
“We categorically reject all allegations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says.
Moscow has called for a special UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation.
MORE EU SANCTIONS
The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says the bloc is urgently discussing a new round of sanctions on Russia over the “atrocities” reported in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns that were occupied by Russian forces.
“We stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in these sombre hours for the whole world,” he says.
HUNDREDS OF BODIES
Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova says 410 civilian bodies were recovered from areas around Kyiv recently retaken from Russian forces.
AFP sees at least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, strewn across a single street in Bucha.
Bucha’s mayor Anatoly Fedoruk says 280 bodies were buried in mass graves while the fighting was ongoing and cemeteries were in the firing line.
As it withdraws from northern Ukraine, Russia steps up its attacks in the east and south.
Authorities in Kharkiv report seven people killed and 34 wounded in strikes on a residential area of Ukraine’s second-biggest city, close to the Russian border.
Russian forces also shell the Kharkiv suburb of Dergachi, leaving at least three civilians dead and wounding seven, its mayor says.
Six people are also reported killed in Donetsk, part of the Donbas region, which is bracing for a major offensive.
In the south, seven people are killed and 20 wounded in shelling of the town of Ochakiv on the Black Sea and one person is killed and 14 injured in a strike on the nearby city of Mykolaiv, Ukrainian authorities say.
PUTIN HAILS ORBAN WIN
An increasingly isolated Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban on winning a fourth term in office.
Putin hopes to deepen ties with a rare ally in Europe “despite the difficult international situation,” the Kremlin says.
ZELENSKY ADDRESSES GRAMMYS
Zelensky makes a surprise appearance at the Grammy music awards, appearing in a pre-taped video urging support for his country.
“Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos,” he says. “They sing to the wounded in hospitals – even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”
TOO SOON FOR PEACE SUMMIT
Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky says it is too early for a top-level meeting between Zelensky and Putin on ending the conflict.
The two sides are scheduled to hold further video talks, a week after a meeting in Turkey which yielded progress on Russia’s demand that Ukraine become a neutral state.
OVER 4.2 MILLION REFUGEES
More than 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled the country since the Russian invasion, the UN says.