Russian troops booby-trap bodies as they retreat, Ukrainians claim

Russia cracks down on protests against Ukraine invasion

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Olena Halushka, from a Ukrainian anti-corruption group, said before they fled Irpin, on Kyiv’s north-eastern outskirts, Putin’s soldiers mined bodies, apparently to kill anyone trying to recover them.

The details emerged on the same day as drone footage showed merciless soldiers shooting dead civilian Maksim Iowenko as he emerged from a car with his hands above his head.

His wife Ksjena was found dead in the vehicle and the couple’s six-year-old son and the elderly mother of a friend were later discovered walking along the roadside in shock.

The incident happened after Mr Iowenko made an abrupt U-turn as he spotted Russian troops ahead.

Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers in Irpin were seen zipping about a dozen corpses into body bags. It was not immediately clear whether any of these had initially been booby-trapped.

Irpin’s mayor, Oleksandr Markushyn, said onWednesday that 200 to 300 people had died and 50 per cent of the city had been destroyed.

The suburb was home to about 60,000 people, but now just 3,500 remain, Mr Markushyn said, adding: “We are still looking for people in basements.”

Irpin is still being shelled by Russian forces from another Kyiv suburb, Bucha, less than six miles away.

Cancer doctors paid visit to Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has been visited by surgeons specialising in thyroid cancer on many occasions, investigative journalists have claimed.

Project Media, a group blocked in Russia, says Yevgeny Selivanov, of Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital, flew out to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to meet Putin 35 times, spending 166 days with him.

He was also seen by surgeon Alexey Shcheglov, who is said to follow Putin, inset, “so relentlessly that during public events he allegedly gets into joint photographs with the head of state”. He visited 59 times over 282 days.

Another is Dr Igor Esakov, 38 trips over 152 days.

The report said apart from geopolitics “there is at least one other issue that Putin is hardly less worried about – his own health”.

In July 2020, he met the head of the National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology, Ivan Dedov – the boss of Putin’s eldest daughter, paediatric endocrinologist Maria Vorontsova.

Project Media said: “Dedov told the president about the high prevalence of thyroid cancer and spoke about the new hormonal drugTyrogin, which fights metastases after surgery.”

The report added: “There is indeed talk in medical circles about the president’s health problems.”

Putin was rarely seen in public in the pandemic, and only made visits to hospitals in a full biohazard suit.

The report said when he met Paralympians last September “he suddenly announced that he had to go into isolation, because there were too many people around who were sick with the coronavirus”.

Project Media added: “Whether the president was then undergoing some kind of medical manipulation is unknown, but after that he began to communicate with people at a very great distance – sitting on opposite sides of huge tables.”

Thyroid cancer symptoms include the appearance of a thick nodule in the thyroid area, hoarseness, problems with swallowing, neck and throat pain, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, a dry cough and a scratchy feeling in the throat or behind the sternum.

Mariupol evacuation gets a green light 

The evacuation of hundreds of thousands of civilians from Mariupol is set to start after a deal was struck.

However, hours earlier Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk accused Russian troops of blocking a convoy of buses headed for the city on Thursday.

Red Cross spokesperson Ewan Watson said yesterday: “We are en route to Mariupol.”

The charity aims to lead a convoy of about 54 Ukrainian buses out of the city, where up to 170,000 people are without power and have limited food.

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