More than 420 civilian bodies have been found in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, according to regional police chief Andriy Nebytov.
"The Kyiv region police continue to work. As of Saturday evening, more than 420 bodies were found in Bucha alone. And this process continues, people return and find temporary graves in their homes and storage of corpses in basements, wells, and so on," the Kyiv regional police wrote on Facebook.
Bucha was the scene of summary executions, brutality and indiscriminate attacks on civilians by Russian forces during Moscow’s month-long occupation of the town. International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said there were "reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC are being committed [in Bucha]."
As Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv region at the end of March, mass graves were uncovered in Bucha and other towns in the region. Video evidence showed the Russian retreat left at least 20 bodies lining a single street. Some victims in the video had their hands tied behinds their backs.
Nebytov noted that most bodies have not yet been identified. "We always take DNA samples. Many relatives report the disappearance of their acquaintances or relatives, but they are abroad, so it is not yet possible to take DNA samples from them. But we hope that we will identify 100% of all people who were killed by the Russian army in the Kyiv region," Nebytov stressed.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Russian brigade that was responsible for the atrocities in Bucha the honorary “Guards” title. Putin congratulated the unit for their "great heroism and courage" and awarded the unit the title of "Guards" for "protecting Russia's sovereignty."
"Through astute and bold actions during the special military operation in Ukraine, the unit's staff became a role model in fulfilling its military duty, valor, dedication and professionalism," the statement read.