Kyiv Oblast was among the first regions hit by Russia's full-scale invasion. Starting from late February, towns and villages near the Ukrainian capital had been suffering from the Russian shelling and bombing, as well as atrocities of the Russian troops, including rape and summary executions.
The Russian troops withdrew from the region on April 1. Immediately, the extent of destruction and human suffering brought by the occupying forces was revealed. According to the Interior Ministry, 720 bodies of killed civilians have been found in the Kyiv Oblast alone, and over 200 people are missing.
Now, once peaceful villages around Kyiv lay destroyed, the lives of their residents ruined.
Dmytrivka is a village of 2,000 people located just 10 kilometers west of Kyiv's borders, and south of Irpin, a satellite city of Kyiv. Dmytrivka experienced heavy fighting. The village had been under the Russian occupation for nearly three weeks. Russian troops were forced out of the village after a Ukrainian offensive on March 31.
The village of Stoyanka is right next to Kyiv's western border, close to Irpin and Dmytrivka. Home to over 500 people, and sitting on the Irpin River, the village was a favored site for middle and high-income Kyiv residents.
Russian troops shelled and bombed the village for days, then rolled in the tanks. To halt Russian advances on the capital, Ukrainian troops destroyed the bridge connecting Stoyanka with Kyiv, cutting once prosperous settlement from Ukrainian-controlled territory for weeks.
The village of Andriivka, home to over 1,000 people and located 40 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, was under Russian occupation for 34 days. The village had suffered from fighting, with many houses getting damaged or ruined. Local citizens say that the Russians stationed in the village were robbing the houses en masse, stealing flat-screen TVs and valuable home appliances.
Buzova, a village with a pre-war population of 1,500 people, was completely destroyed by Russian shelling, and later occupied. The U.K. Defense Ministry reported, citing Ukrainian intelligence, that a mass grave with the bodies of killed civilians was uncovered near Buzova after Russian troops had been driven out of the region.
Demydiv lies 10 kilometers north of Kyiv and was home to over 3,500 people before Russia launched the invasion. The village is now partly flooded due to the nearby Kyiv Reservoir being damaged by fighting.