Hungarians go to the polls in a tight race dominated by the war in Ukraine

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the Kyiv region had been recaptured from Russian troops.

“Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel and the whole Kyiv region have been liberated from the invader,” Malyar wrote on Facebook on April 2, naming the suburbs of the capital hard hit since the start of Russia’s war on Israel. Ukraine at the end of February.

The news came after Ukraine said earlier in the day that Russian forces were carrying out a “rapid retreat” from areas around kyiv and the northern town of Chernihiv, near Ukraine’s border with the south. -eastern Belarus.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that much of the Russian military equipment transferred to Belarus had been damaged and that Russian servicemen were taking stolen objects, including civilian vehicles, to Belarus in order to ship them to Russia.

The retreating Russian forces were also accused by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of creating a complete ‘disaster’ outside the capital and of laying mines across the country as they headed towards the Donbass region of Ukraine.

In his nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskiy said on April 1 that Russian forces were leaving mines, tripwires and other obstacles in their wake. “These are mining houses, mining equipment, even the bodies of people who were killed,” he said.

In Bucha, an AFP correspondent reported seeing the bodies of at least 20 people in the same street, including one with his hands tied.

The French news agency quoted Bucha mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk as saying all the victims were “killed by bullets in the back of the head” and that 280 other bodies were buried in a mass grave.

Many bodies, he said, “wore white bandages ‘to show they were unarmed’.”

Presidential aide Andriy Yermak said on April 2 that Ukrainian photographer and documentarian Maks Levin had been found dead near kyiv after he went missing more than two weeks ago.

“He disappeared in the conflict zone on March 13 in the Kyiv region. His body was found near the village of Huta Mezhyhirska on April 1,” he said in a message on Telegram.

Reporters Without Borders said in an April 2 tweet that Levin was unarmed and wearing a press jacket, and was the sixth journalist to be killed in the war that began on February 24.

Zelenskiy warned during his speech of tough battles ahead as Russia redeploys its troops. “We are preparing for an even more active defence,” he said, adding that he expected heavy Russian attacks in his country’s east.

“Russian forces are building up in Donbass, heading towards Kharkiv,” he said. “They are preparing for new powerful blows.”

On April 2, the International Red Cross made its second attempt in two days to evacuate civilians from the southeastern town of Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov that has been devastated by some of the most violent urban fighting of the war.

The aid organization, which had to abandon an attempt to send a convoy to escort civilians out of town the day before, said late in the evening of April 2 that the effort was continuing, but the situation on the ground was unstable.

The Russian Defense Ministry accused the Red Cross of failing to evacuate civilians from Mariupol on April 2, saying its team left too late to reach Mariupol in time, according to Russian news agency RIA.

Live briefing: Russia invades Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the major developments on the invasion of Russia, how kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and the Western reaction. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, however, announced on Telegram that 765 civilians had managed to flee the city in their own vehicles. Another 500 civilians fled the nearby town of Berdyansk, and evacuations are expected to continue on April 3, Vereshchuk said.

About 3,000 people reportedly managed to escape from Mariupol on April 1 and 3,000 had been evacuated from other towns, according to Ukrainian officials.

In his April 1 speech, Zelenskiy did not mention the latest round of talks with Russian negotiators that took place earlier in the day via video. However, a Ukrainian negotiator reportedly said on April 2 that Russia had indicated that the negotiations had advanced sufficiently to allow direct consultations between the countries’ presidents.

Interfax Ukraine quoted David Arakhamia as saying on Ukrainian television that Russia had accepted Ukraine’s overall position except for its position on Crimea.

The Ukrainian peninsula was annexed by Russia after its 2014 invasion of Ukraine, and Moscow has insisted that it be recognized as Russian territory. Ukraine has declared that it will not accept the loss of any of its sovereign territories.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Russian news agency RIA on April 2, reportedly said it was important for talks to continue, but kyiv had rejected Moscow’s desire to hold more talks. in Belarus.

With reports from the Russian service of RFE/RL, Reuters, AP and AFP

Comments are closed.