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Retreating Russian soldiers are leaving mines, Zelenskiy says

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By Judith Gicobi

Russian soldiers are purposefully mining places in northern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, when they evacuate or are pushed out by Ukrainian forces.

Since Russia stated this week that it will cut down its operations near the capital to focus on fighting in the east, Ukraine says its soldiers have retaken control of more than 30 towns and villages in the Kyiv region.

“In the north of our country, the invaders are leaving. It is slow but noticeable. In some places they are being kicked out with fighting. Elsewhere they’re abandoning the positions themselves,” Zelenskiy said in a video address issued on Saturday, without presenting evidence.

“They are mining all this territory. Houses are mined, equipment is mined, even the bodies of dead people.”

A request for comment from Russia’s defense ministry was not responded to.

The accusations could not be independently verified by Reuters.

On Saturday, the emergency service warned residents in the recently liberated areas of Kyiv to be cautious, claiming that over 1,500 bombs were discovered in one day during a sweep of the town of Dmytrivka, west of the capital.

Residents who had evacuated should stay away for the time being, according to Zelenskiy, as operations to clear mines and safeguard the regions are underway.

“It is still impossible to return to normal life as it was,” he stated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the operation, which began on February 24, as a “special military operation aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying” Ukraine.

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