Ukraine round-up: Residents rebuild Bucha as Russia bans UK PM | Ratopati

APRIL  17: As the BBC’s Anna Foster reports, most people are yet to return, and there’s just one small, hardy group who are trying to pave the way for others to come back.

Sergei and his wife arrived at their flat five days ago. Now they and their neighbours are trying to rebuild their damaged homes, and clearing away the debris of countless Russian shells.

“You always want to come back home”, he says. “So we used our first chance to return as well. And we used our chance to make sure that all the property is safe, even from locals that might come and steal something.”

But making these towns safe again will be a huge job.

Not safe yet

In just a few weeks, Bucha locals have become accustomed to death.

Denys Davidoff stayed in the town throughout the occupation. When the Russians left he ventured back onto the streets, and was confronted with a vision of horror. Many people around the world saw photos and videos of bodies lying scattered on the ground in Bucha, some with hands bound behind their backs. But Denys witnessed them himself.

“When I arrived I saw the street with the dead bodies. I just walked around them, and they were everywhere. I wasn’t scared, but it was intense. You got used to it during the month of the occupation.”

As the world condemned what it saw, Russia claimed the news was fake, and the bodies were planted after its forces left. But Denys lived through it, and that was not what he saw.

“Some corpses were lying for such a long time that you could see their bodies were covered with the sand and the earth after it rained. At some point I realised I knew some of the people who were killed.”

The people of Bucha are still processing the devastation they’ve lived through. But they aren’t entirely safe just yet. More than 3,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance have been found around the Kyiv region so far.

In a nearby village we pass a ditch at the side of the road, with around 20 unexploded shells neatly placed in it, lying side by side. A single thin ribbon of plastic tape runs around the perimeter to protect the unaware from stumbling in.

Making these towns safe again for people to return to will be a huge job.

Explosions in Kyiv and Lviv

Fresh air strikes hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Saturday.

One person was killed and several wounded in Kyiv, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Air defences were trying to protect people, Mr Klitschko said on his Telegram channel, “but the enemy is ruthless”.

“You forget sometimes that you’re still afraid of every sound, even if it comes from your neighbour’s house, or if someone bangs a car door… No words can describe how scary it is,” local resident Anna Budko told the BBC.

The Russian defence ministry said it was targeting a military factory in the capital.

Explosions were also reported in the western city of Lviv. Officials said air defences destroyed four Russian cruise missiles.

Senior UK ministers banned from Russia

Russia has banned UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior ministers from entering Russia over what it described as their “hostile” attitude towards the war in Ukraine.

The others mentioned in the ban include Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Moscow said the decision was taken in response to sanctions imposed by the UK since the invasion.

“London’s unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for containing our country and strangling the domestic economy” had prompted its decision, it added.

The UK government said it remained resolute in its support for Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has been subject to a similar ban since March.

The full list is:

-Prime Minister Boris Johnson

-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss

-Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

-Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab

-Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps

-Home Secretary Priti Patel

-The Chancellor Rishi Sunak

-Minister for Entrepreneurship, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng

-Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries

-Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey

-First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon

-Attorney General for England and Wales and advocate general for Northern Ireland Suella Braverman

-Conservative MP and former British Prime Minister Theresa May

First pictures of Moskva crew since sinking

The Russian defence ministry has published images showing what it says is the crew of the warship Moskva – the first time any sailors from the ship have been seen since its sinking.

A large group of sailors is seen on parade in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, met by Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm Nikolay Yevmenov.

The Moskva was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet.

The ship’s demise has been described as a huge blow to Russian morale.

The video shows Adm Yevmenov and two other officers standing on a parade ground in front of about 100 sailors.

It is not clear when the meeting took place.

With inputs from BBC 


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