Bucha falls silent to mark a year since the city was liberated from Russia

It has been a year since Russian troops withdrew from Bucha – but it is still synonymous with tragedy.

Ukraine managed to wrestle back control of the city, near Kyiv, in March last year.

Vladimir Putin’s soldiers left a trail of destruction in their wake, with the world left horrified at what had unfolded.

Images showed dead bodies lying in the streets or in mass graves – some with hands tied behind their back and with evidence they had been raped, burned or tortured.

Over weeks and months, hundreds of bodies were uncovered, including some of children.

Ukrainian troops compared Bucha to a scene from a ‘horror movie’.

Russia claimed the slaughter was ‘fake’ and claimed Ukraine ‘staged the whole thing’.

But satellite images later revealed dead bodies lining Bucha’s streets on February 28 – before Putin’s troops left.

Today, a vigil was held to mark one year since the town was liberated.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was joined by the prime ministers of Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia to mark the occasion.

They clasped candles as they approached a memorial dedicated to those who perished in Bucha.

During the vigil, the names of the 77 victims found in a mass grave next to a Bucha church, were read out.

Eleven Ukrainian soldiers, who died in the battle of Bucha, also had their named mentioned.

President Zelensky wrote on Telegram: ‘We will never forgive. We will punish every perpetrator.’

More than 1,400 civilian deaths, including 37 children, were documented in the Bucha district by Ukrainian authorities, Mr Zelensky said.

More than 175 people were found in mass graves and alleged torture chambers, he added.

Russia captured Bucha, located 34 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, on March 12, 2022.

Ukrainian forces gained back control on March 31.

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