Ukraine latest: Zelenskyy scare of horror in Borodyanka as Russia imposes travel ban on Australians, admits ‘significant’ casualties

Reports of meaningful war crimes have continued to come out of Ukraine after Russian participating areas from around the capital Kyiv.

With Russian forces expected to mount an extension into the eastern region of Donbas soon, Moscow acknowledged for the first time that it had suffered “significant” casualties in the war so far.

Some residents are also returning to Kyiv as authorities continue to document meaningful atrocities nearby.

Here is the latest on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

Moscow imposes travel ban on 228 Australians

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says it has imposed entry bans on 228 Australian government members and politicians, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defense Minister Peter Dutton, in response to sanctions from Canberra.

Australian Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles are bound for Ukraine.(AP: Royal Australian Air Force)

It has published a list of 228 Australian politicians and officials barred from entering Russia.

The announcement came after Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced further sanctions against 67 Russian individuals on Thursday over Moscow’s “illegal war” against Ukraine.

“Those sanctioned include prominent Russian military official Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, who has been described as the ‘Butcher of Mariupol’, for attacks including the bombing of the theater in which innocent civilians were sheltering in Mariupol,” Senator Payne said.

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Australia to implement 67 further sanctions on Russian elites.
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Mr Morrison’s office said in a statement that 20 Bushmaster vehicles were being gifted to Ukraine to assist its war effort, as requested during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to parliament last week.

“A Ukrainian flag is painted on either side with the words ‘United with Ukraine’ stencilled in English and Ukrainian to acknowledge our commitment and support to the government and people of Ukraine,” the statement said.

It follows Australia providing about $116 million in defense assistance to Ukraine, and pledging to provide 70,000 tons of coal to the war-torn country.

Mr Dutton said Australia would continue to stand with Ukraine against tyranny and autocrats.

“People have fought and died for the freedoms that we have in our country. We need to realise we just can’t take for granted what we have, our system of democracy and freedom of speech,” he said.

“These are values ​​that dictators like Putin and Hitler and others will always be against. We need to stand up against them.”

Zelenskyy of horror in Borodyanka

Mr Zelenskyy said the situation in the town of Borodyanka near the capital Kyiv was “significantly more dreadful” than in nearby Bucha, where the suspect deliberate of civilians by Russian forces has been widely condemned.

“The work to clear the rubble in Borodyanka has begun … It’s significant more dreadful there. Even more victims from the Russian occupiers,” Mr Zelenskyy said in a video statement.

He did not provide any further detail or evidence that Russia was responsible for civilian deaths in the town.

“And what will happen when the world learns the whole truth about what the Russian military did in Mariupol?” Mr Zelenskyy added.

“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.”

Local officials said more than 300 people were killed by Russian forces in Bucha, 35 kilometers north-west of Kyiv, and around 50 of them were executed.

Moscow has denied targeting civilians and says images of dead civilians have been staged by the Ukrainian government to justify more sanctions against Moscow and derail peace negotiations.

A man stands in from of a large damaged building, in which many walls are missing.
A clean-up worker walks near a building destroyed by shelling in Borodyanka, in the Kyiv region.(Reuters: Marko Djurica)

Some locals return to Kyiv

Some Ukrainians have been returned to Kyiv after Russian troops, yet officials from the outskirts of the city but officials have warned people not to return to the capital just, angry of a renewing Russian offensive.

For several of those arriving at the busy main train station in central Kyiv on Thursday, the desire to see elderly parents or to continue their jobs outweighs any safety concerns.

Some workers returned without their families, leaving wives and children in the relative safety of western Ukraine.

Others were making a quick dash to pick up more of their belongings and cars before heading out again.

There were more signs of something more akin to normal life returning to Kyiv. Some played chess in the park as an air raid siren sounded.

Three white men in winter clothes sit around a chess board in a park.
Two men playing chess in a park in Kyiv.(Reuters: Joseph Campbell)

Joggers headed out for their morning runs, women walked together with their dogs and church bells summon believers to a morning service.

A few said they had returned to stay, at least for now.

Meanwhile, residents in nearby villages have assessed the damage caused to their homes.

Europe correspondent Isabella Higgins sent this report from the badly damaged village of Andriivka:

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Villages on the outskirts of Kyiv restored by Ukrainian military.
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Russia words ‘huge tragedy’ of troop deaths

Russia has given the most sombre assessment so far of its invasion of Ukraine, describing the “tragedy” of mounting troop losses and the economic hit from sanctions.

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