Zelensky says investigators documented more than 400 Russian war crimes in Kherson

  • War crimes revealed after Russia pulls out – Zelensky
  • Kherson residents tell of abuse by Russian army
  • Demining and power restoration in Kherson underway
  • Fighting rages in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions

KHERSON, Ukraine, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian soldiers of committing war crimes and killing civilians in Kherson, where Ukrainian troops recaptured last week after Russia withdrew. In some areas.

“Investigators have documented more than 400 Russian war crimes. Bodies of dead civilians and military personnel have been found,” Zelensky said in his evening video address on Sunday.

“The Russian military left behind the same barbarity in other parts of the country it entered,” he said.

Reuters could not confirm his allegations. Russia denies that its military is deliberately targeting civilians.

Since the invasion began on February 10, mass graves have been discovered across Ukraine. 24, including civilian bodies showing evidence of torture found in the Kharkov region and Buta near Kyiv. Ukraine blamed the Russian military for the crimes.

In October, a United Nations commission said Ukraine had committed war crimes and that Russian forces were responsible for the “vast majority” of human rights violations in the early weeks of the war.read more

Ukrainian troops arrived in the center of the southern Kherson region on Friday after Russia abandoned the only regional capital it has occupied since Moscow launched its invasion.

Villagers waited with flowers on the road to Kherson on Saturday as Ukrainian soldiers poured in to secure control of the right bank of the Dnieper.read more

It marked Moscow’s third major retreat in the war and the first time it has ceded such a large occupied city in the face of a massive Ukrainian counteroffensive using the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The United States will announce new sanctions on Monday against a multinational network of individuals and companies that have been working to procure military technology for Russia’s war in Ukraine, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

Yellen told reporters on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali that the sanctions would target 14 individuals and 28 entities, including financial services providers, but she declined to provide details on their locations.read more

Russia managed to procure drones from Iran to use in attacks on Ukrainian cities and power infrastructure.

Mine Kherson

Gunfire echoing over Kherson on Sunday failed to stop throngs of flag-waving residents from gathering in the city’s main square to beat the cold.

“We are happy now, but all of us are afraid of the bombing from the left bank,” said Yana Smyrnova, a 35-year-old singer, referring to the Russian artillery on the east side of the Dnieper near the city.

The Southern Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Monday that Russian forces continued to “inflict fire damage on our troops and destroy settlements on the right bank of the Dnieper.”

Kherson Region Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said authorities had decided to maintain a curfew from 5 pm to 8 am as a safety measure and banned people from entering and leaving the city.

“The enemy mined all the critical infrastructure,” Yanushevych told Ukrainian television. “We’re trying to meet in a few days and then (then) open up the city,” he said.

In an online post, Yanousevich warned people of reports of humanitarian aid arriving in Kherson’s Freedom Square and urged people to avoid the city center where demining operations will take place.

Zelensky also warned residents of Kherson about the presence of Russian landmines. “I ask you not to forget that the situation in the Kherson region remains very dangerous,” he said.

russian withdrawal

Residents said the Russians had gradually withdrawn over the past two weeks, but their final withdrawal did not become clear until Thursday, when the first Ukrainian troops entered Kherson.

“It’s a gradual process,” said Alexii Sandakov, a 44-year-old videographer. “First their special police went. Then the regular police and their administration. Then you started seeing fewer and fewer soldiers in the supermarket, and then their military vehicles drove off.”

Many residents interviewed by Reuters said they tried to minimize contact with Russians and knew of people who had been arrested and abused for showing any Ukrainian patriotic sentiments.

Sandakov said Russian forces ransacked the homes of Ukrainian soldiers who left the city before taking over and would examine the bodies of young people who passed through checkpoints for tattoos from Ukrainian nationalist groups.

Russia has denied mistreating or attacking civilians since the war began.

eastern ukraine

Ukraine’s defense ministry said it had retaken 179 settlements and 4,500 square kilometers (1,700 square miles) of land along the Dnieper River since the start of the week.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that fighting continues on the Eastern Front in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In the past 24 hours, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye, Luhansk and Donetsk have been hit by missiles and artillery, Zelensky said.

“The fighting in the Donetsk region is as intense as in previous days,” Zelensky said.

Reporting by David Ljjungren, Jonathan Landay, Gleb Garanich, Pavel Polityuk and Ron Popeski; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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