Human Rights Group claims Russia is executing civilians in Ukraine

Russian troops have reportedly been executing unarmed Ukrainians, some of them children, as Putin’s invasion continues to collapse in disarray.

As the Russians retreat from the area around the capital Kyiv, Ukrainian troops say they have found streets “strewn” with the bodies of civilians who had been shot by the Russians for no reason.

Ukrainian troops who recaptured the town told The Times they had found the mutilated bodies of 18 people, including women and children as young as 14, in a cellar.

International human rights organisation Human Rights Watch interviewed one woman in Bucha, just outside Kyiv, who told them she had seen Russian troops round up five men and shoot at least one of them in the back of the head.

"We have documented an unmistakable case of summary execution by Russian Federation forces in Bucha on March 4,” a Human Rights Watch spokeswoman said.

Another Bucha resident, who declined to give their name for fear of reprisals, also reported seeing Russian troops killing unarmed civilians: “Those people were just walking and they shot them without any reason. Bang”.

“In the next neighbourhood, Stekolka, it was even worse,” they added. “They would shoot without asking any question”.

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An AFP reporter confirmed that they had seen at least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, strewn across a single street in Bucha, Some of them had their hands tied behind they backs before being shot execution-style by Russian troops.

Bucha’s mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said “All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head”

He told reporters that some 280 other bodies had been buried in mass graves in the town. “These are the consequences of Russian occupation,” he said.

'All these people were shot, killed, in the back of the head,' Mr Fedoruk said.

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Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik posted a video from Bucha on Twitter showing bodies lying in the street, saying: “Russians were killing people with their hands tied behind their backs and left the bodies near the road. I am shaking”.

As Russian forces retreat from Kyiv they are scattering anti-personnel mines and IEDs behind them. “They are mining the whole territory,” President Zelenskyy said in his regular video update this week. “They are mining homes, mining equipment, even the bodies of people who were killed”.

“There are a lot of trip wires, a lot of other dangers,” he added.

President Zelenskyy warned that even in areas where the invaders had been driven back, Ukrainians should still be on there guard: “We need wait until our land is de-mined, wait till we are able to assure you that there won't be new shelling.”

Former UN chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has called Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and called for an international arrest warrant for him.

Deputy PM Dominic Raab has pledged the UK’s “full support” of building a war crimes case against Putin and his military commanders in Ukraine.

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