Entire Kyiv Region Liberated From Russia As Putin’s Plans Collapse

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The entire region surrounding Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, has been liberated from Russian invaders. (Ukraine is divided into administrative divisions called oblasts, and the region in question is the Kyiv oblast, which encircles the Ukrainian capital but does not include it.) Information on this sweeping liberation around Kyiv came from Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, who made the announcement following reported Ukrainian battlefield victories over Russian troops in Kyiv suburbs including Irpin and Bucha. Russian leadership announced they’d be scaling down hostilities in the Kyiv region, but any such move was not by any means something the Russians simply undertook of their own accord — the Ukrainians have staged a resolute defense, killing what are believed to be thousands upon thousands of Russian troops around Ukraine.

Areas around Kyiv that have been freed from Russian domination have been the sites of devastating atrocities inflicted by Russian personnel. In Bucha, some 20 dead individuals in civilian clothes lied along a single street, and in the town, among those killed were people with their hands tied. Another man was killed while he apparently rode his bicycle. Before Russians left Bucha, they reportedly killed every man between 16 and 60 who remained there, targeting those who might later serve in Ukraine’s defense against Russian violence. (It’s unclear whether that final detail has been confirmed by Ukrainian authorities, although it was shared by — among many others — former Ukrainian ambassador Olexander Scherba.)

In addition, hundreds of bodies were apparently found in a mass grave in Bucha — and from there, the list of disturbing details goes on. The scope of the devastation Putin has inflicted on Ukraine is simply indescribable — there have now been weeks of essentially non-stop developments involving Russians targeting Ukrainian civilians across the country. The assault on Mariupol, which had a population of hundreds of thousands before the war but where at least around 5,000 have since died, is continuing, and despite the Russian exit from around the capital, fighting is proceeding across Ukraine’s eastern and southern regions.

According to a summary of revelations from Ukraine’s military provided by the Ukrainian government information source Ukrinform, Russian troops are “making efforts to resume offensive operations and take control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” The Center for Combating Disinformation at the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council added that the “shift of the battlefield does not mean that Russia will stop air strikes with long-range missiles and aircraft throughout the rest of Ukraine.”

Russian forces are apparently believed to be setting themselves up for what Ukrinform described as a “protracted” war in Ukraine. Amid reported steep losses in both personnel and equipment for the Russian invaders, and despite the forced detachment of Russia from key components of the global economy, the Putin regime continues to stand by the violence in Ukraine, which has already displaced millions upon millions of people, many of whom have fled the country as refugees. The Russian departures from around Kyiv have been characterized as coming amid attempts to bulk up offensives elsewhere. “According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing but repositioning. Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said according to a March 31 report from Reuters.