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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday that the situation in the town of Borodyanka was “significantly more dreadful” than in nearby Bucha, where the suspected killing of civilians by Russian forces has been roundly condemned.
Officials have said that more than 300 people were killed by the Russians in Bucha, 35 kilometres north-west of the capital Kyiv. Among them were 50 who were executed, they said.
Moscow has denied attacking civilians and says images of bodies in Bucha were staged by the Ukrainian government to justify more sanctions against Moscow and derail peace negotiations.
“The work to clear the rubble in Borodyanka has begun … it's significantly more dreadful there,” Mr Zelenskyy said in a video posted on the Telegram messaging service. “Even more victims from the Russian occupiers.”
The town is about 25 kilometres from Bucha.
He did not provide any further details or evidence that Russia was responsible for civilian deaths in the town.
The killings of civilians in the town of Bucha have been widely condemned by the West as war crimes, building pressure for stricter sanctions against Russia.
“And what will happen when the world learns the whole truth about what the Russian military did in Mariupol?” Mr Zelenskyy asked.
“There, on almost every street, is what the world saw in Bucha and other towns in the Kyiv region after the withdrawal of Russian troops.”
Bucha residents tell of how Russia attacked civilians
Moscow says one of the aims of its military campaign is to “liberate” largely Russian-speaking places such as the southern port of Mariupol from Ukrainian nationalists, who it says have used civilians as human shields.
Mr Zelenskyy has rejected those claims, saying they are a baseless pretext for Russia's invasion.