Kiev, April 3
Ukraine's Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar announced that the entire Kiev region has been liberated from Russian forces after weeks of fierce fighting.
In a social media post late Saturday, the Minister said: "Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel, and the rest of the Kiev region have been liberated from the invaders," Ukrayinska Pravda reported.
The announcement comes after Russia said last week that it would "drastically reduce" combat operations around the capital Kiev and the northern city of Chernihiv, and instead focus on the eastern regions.
Ukrainian authorities have claimed that at least 200 civilians have been killed in Irpin, located about 46 km from the capital city, since Russia launched the invasion on February 24.
Amidst the violence, some 70,000 people have managed to flee from Irpin, reports the BBC.
In Bucha, a town to the north-west of Kiev where Russian troops had moved into last week, violent attacks took place, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths.
Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk has claimed that demolished streets of the town were covered with corpses, adding that a mass grave has also been found where some 300 people have been buried.
Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said in a tweet that the bodies were found with their hands tied and that they were shot dead.
He also claimed that the victims "were not in the military. They had no weapons".
Since the invasion began, Hostomel had also witnessed heavy fighting as the Russian forces were trying to seize an airfield.