The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

As Russia pulls back from Kyiv, grim scenes emerge

Residents ride past the wreckage of cars in the Kyiv region on April 1. (Reuters)
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A high-ranking Ukrainian official said the entire Kyiv region was no longer under Russian control Saturday, as signs mounted that Moscow’s troops were pulling back from cities and towns across the capital region. And as the forces withdraw, those on the ground describe a grim scene that’s been left behind.

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Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said the nation’s armed forces were back in control of all of Kyiv oblast, and Britain’s Defense Ministry confirmed that local forces were steadily regaining control. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s withdrawal in the north was “slow but noticeable.” In Bucha, a town near Kyiv, local officials and reporters say there are mass graves and bodies scattered in the streets.

An adviser to the president urged Ukrainians to prepare for “difficult fights” ahead in Mariupol and in southern and eastern parts of Ukraine, where evacuation efforts were still underway. The Red Cross said Saturday it had not yet reached the hard-hit port city where 100,000 are trapped.

Here’s what to know

  • Four people were “injured and severely burned” when Russian forces fired mortars at protesters in a city near Zaporizhzhia, according to Ukraine’s human rights ombudswoman.
  • The death toll from a missile strike on a main government building in the city of Mykolaiv this week has risen to 36, the governor of the southern Ukrainian region said.
  • Ukrainian photojournalist Maksym Levin was found dead on the northern outskirts of Kyiv, the country’s prosecutor general said Saturday. He is at least the sixth journalist killed covering Russia’s war on Ukraine.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.