Ukraine will continue to fight for its independence, the chief of the army said on Sunday, a year after bodies of civilians were found in Bucha after Russian troops retreated.

“We will continue to fight for the independence of our nation,” Valery Zaluzhny wrote on Telegram.

Russian forces withdrew from Bucha, a commuter town northwest of Kyiv, on March 31, 2022 — just over a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine — and left a trail of death and destruction in their wake.

AFP journalists on April 2 last year discovered the bodies of at least 20 people in civilian clothing, some with their hands tied behind their backs, lying in a street of the suburb.

Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian troops of carrying out war crimes, pointing to extensive footage and witness accounts.

Prosecutors in Kyiv say that Russian forces killed some 1,400 civilians around Bucha and that they have identified dozens of Russian soldiers responsible.

Moscow has claimed atrocities carried out in Bucha were staged.