Ukraine’s armed forces braced on Monday for a new Russian offensive as powerful explosions rocked cities in the south and east, while Austria’s leader planned to meet Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and call for an end to the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky kept up his tireless campaign to generate international support and rally his countrymen, warning the coming week would be important and tense.
Russia will be even more afraid. It will be afraid to lose. It will fear that the truth will have to be acknowledged, Mr. Zelensky said on Sunday in a late night video address.
Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state. They may use even more missiles against us, even more air bombs. But we are preparing for their actions. We will answer, he emphasised.
A new mass grave discovered
A new grave with dozens of civilian Ukrainians was found on Saturday in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv that for weeks was occupied by Russian forces, a local official said.
Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova and several other nearby villages, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch near a petrol station. The number of dead is yet to be confirmed.
Now, we are returning to life, but during the occupation we had our ‘hotspots’, many civilians died, Didych said.
As Russian forces were engaged in an offensive against Kyiv in the first weeks of Moscow’s invasion, a number of communities surrounding the capital, including Makariv, Bucha, Irpin and Dmytrivka remained under constant fire.
Local Ukraine media in early April reported casualties found in and near Buzova, with about 30 bodies found at the time.
Russia Continued Attacks on Sunday
Russia’s invasion has forced about a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes, turned cities into rubble and killed or injured thousands.
It has failed to take any major cities, but Ukraine says Moscow has been gathering its forces in the east for a major offensive and has urged people to flee.
A series of powerful explosions were heard in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv and in Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea in the southern part of the country, Ukrainian media reported on Sunday.
Earlier, missiles destroyed the airport in the city of Dnipro, said Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the central Dnipropetrovsk region.
Austrian Chancellor To Convince Putin of Its Army's Withdrawal
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he would meet Putin on Monday in Moscow for the Russian leader’s first face-to-face meeting with a European Union counterpart since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24.