Ukrainian war: Russian shelling 'makes gathering the dead impossible'

‘Dogs are pulling bodies apart on the street’: Ukrainian mayor describes scenes of horror as relentless Russian shelling makes it impossible to gather the dead

  • Anatol Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in Kyiv, said shelling has been relentless
  • He said shells and rockets have continued to fall on population centres in region
  • He claimed bodies could not be gathered due to the non-stop Russian shelling
  • It comes as Russia says it again promises safe corridors for civilians to escape
  • Click here for MailOnline’s liveblog with the latest updates on the Ukraine crisis 
  • The mayor of a besieged Ukrainian suburb has described Russian artillery fire as being so relentless that residents have been unable to gather up the dead leaving dogs to ‘pull apart the bodies’.

    Anatol Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in Kyiv, said military fire in the region has been heavy and constant well into the second week of the Russian invasion.

    As the Kremlin said it again promises safe corridors for civilians, Mr Fedoruk said a steady rain of shells and rockets continues to fall on population centres.

    ‘We can’t even gather up the bodies because the shelling from heavy weapons doesn’t stop day or night,’ Mr Fedoruk said.

    ‘Dogs are pulling apart the bodies on the city streets. It’s a nightmare.’

    Anatol Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in Kyiv, said Russian artillery fire has been so relentless that residents have been unable to clear the dead, leaving dogs to pull apart the bodies. Pictured: a dog stands between destroyed Russian armoured vehicles in Bucha

    Anatol Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in Kyiv, said Russian artillery fire has been so relentless that residents have been unable to clear the dead, leaving dogs to pull apart the bodies. Pictured: a dog stands between destroyed Russian armoured vehicles in Bucha

    Civilians carry their belongings as the evacuate to safety across a contested bridge at the frontline between Bucha and Irpin City. The area has been hit by heavy Russian shelling

    Civilians carry their belongings as the evacuate to safety across a contested bridge at the frontline between Bucha and Irpin City. The area has been hit by heavy Russian shelling

    Corridors intended to let Ukrainian civilians escape the Russian onslaught could open on Tuesday, Kremlin officials said, though Ukrainian leaders greeted the plan with scepticism since prior efforts to establish evacuation routes crumbled over the weekend amid renewed attacks.

    In one of the most desperate cities, the encircled southern port of Mariupol, an estimated 200,000 people – nearly half the population of 430,000 – were hoping to flee, and Red Cross officials waited to hear when a corridor would be established.

    Russia’s chief negotiator said he expected the corridors to be in use on Tuesday.

    The Russian UN ambassador forecast a potential cease-fire for the morning and appeared to suggest that humanitarian paths leading away from Kyiv and other cities could give people choice in where they want to go – a change from previous proposals that offered only destinations in Russia or Belarus.

    The office of embattled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would not comment on the latest Russian proposal, saying only that Moscow’s plans can be believed only if a safe evacuation begins.

    Demands for effective passageways have surged amid intensifying shelling by Russian forces. 

    Corridors intended to let Ukrainian civilians escape the Russian onslaught could open on Tuesday, Kremlin officials said, though Ukrainian leaders greeted the plan with scepticism. Pictured: a Ukrainian serviceman looks at a civilian crossing a blown up bridge east of the town of Brovary

    Corridors intended to let Ukrainian civilians escape the Russian onslaught could open on Tuesday, Kremlin officials said, though Ukrainian leaders greeted the plan with scepticism. Pictured: a Ukrainian serviceman looks at a civilian crossing a blown up bridge east of the town of Brovary

    The steady bombardments, including in some of Ukraine’s most populated regions, have yielded a humanitarian crisis of diminishing food, water and medical supplies.

    Through it all, Mr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces were showing unprecedented courage.

    ‘The problem is that for one soldier of Ukraine, we have 10 Russian soldiers, and for one Ukrainian tank, we have 50 Russian tanks,’ Mr Zelensky told ABC News in an interview that aired on Monday night.

    But he noted that the gap in strength was diminishing and that even if Russian forces ‘come into all our cities’, they will be met with an insurgency.

    A top US official said multiple countries were discussing whether to provide the warplanes that Mr Zelensky has been pleading for.

    At The Hague, Netherlands, Ukraine pleaded with the International Court of Justice to order a halt to Russia’s invasion, saying Moscow is committing widespread war crimes.

    Russia ‘is resorting to tactics reminiscent of medieval siege warfare, encircling cities, cutting off escape routes and pounding the civilian population with heavy ordnance’, said Jonathan Gimblett, a member of Ukraine’s legal team.

    Russia snubbed the court proceedings, leaving its seats in the Great Hall of Justice empty.

    The UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths addressed the Security Council and urged safe passage for people to go ‘in the direction they choose’.

    The UN human rights office reported 406 confirmed civilian deaths but said the real number is much higher. Pictured: a woman and her child evacuating Bucha

    The UN human rights office reported 406 confirmed civilian deaths but said the real number is much higher. Pictured: a woman and her child evacuating Bucha

    The battle for Mariupol is crucial because its capture could allow Moscow to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

    The fighting has sent energy prices surging worldwide and stocks plummeting, and threatens the food supply and livelihoods of people around the globe who rely on crops farmed in the fertile Black Sea region.

    The UN human rights office reported 406 confirmed civilian deaths but said the real number is much higher. The invasion has also sent 1.7 million people fleeing Ukraine.

    On Monday, Moscow again announced a series of demands to stop the invasion, including that Ukraine recognise Crimea as part of Russia and recognise the eastern regions controlled by Moscow-supported separatist fighters as independent. 

    It also insisted that Ukraine change its constitution to guarantee it will not join international bodies like Nato and the EU. Ukraine has already rejected those demands.

    Mr Zelensky has called for more punitive measures against Russia, including a global boycott of its oil exports, which are key to its economy.

    ‘If (Russia) doesn’t want to abide by civilized rules, then they shouldn’t receive goods and services from civilization’, he said in a video address. 

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