Friday marks one year since Russia withdrew from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, leaving bodies of civilians strewn in the streets in what has become a symbol of alleged Russian war crimes that shocked the world. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said via social media that Ukraine "will never forgive" what happened there. Follow our live blog for the latest updates. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
9:08am: Zelensky says Ukraine 'will never forgive' on Bucha anniversary
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that his country would "never forgive" Russia for its occupation of Bucha, a town near the Ukrainian capital where Moscow's forces were accused of massacring civilians.
"365 days since it is a free Ukrainian сity once again. A symbol of the atrocities of the occupying country's army. We will never forgive. We will punish every perpetrator," Zelensky said in a statement on social media.
7:14am: One year on, Ukraine remembers Bucha victims and starts to rebuild
Ukraine on Friday marks one year since Russia withdrew from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, leaving the bodies of executed civilians strewn in the streets in what has become a symbol of alleged Russian war crimes.
Russian forces withdrew from the commuter town northwest of the capital on March 31, 2022, just over a month after President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine.
In their wake, they left behind scenes of horror that shocked the world.
AFP journalists on April 2 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 war crimes after the discoveries at Bucha, pointing to an abundance of footage and witness accounts.
Moscow denies the accusations, claiming the atrocities in Bucha were staged.
But a year after it was retaken by Kyiv's forces, Bucha has not forgotten its victims. The community of what was once a family-friendly suburb is rebuilding, and locals told reporters "the pain subsides" and that they must "continue to live" despite their collective trauma.
Click on the video report below to learn more.
4:45am: Japan bans steel, aircraft exports to Russia in latest sanctions on Ukraine war
Japan is banning Russia-bound exports of steel, aluminium and aircraft, including drones, in its latest sanctions against Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the trade ministry said on Friday.
The measure, which also prohibits Japanese entities from exporting a wide variety of industrial items such as construction machinery, ship engines, testing equipment and optical devices to Russia, will go into effect on April 7, the ministry said in a statement.
12:50am: Turkish parliament ratifies Finland's NATO accession as Sweden kept waiting
Turkey's parliament approved a bill on Thursday to allow Finland to join NATO, clearing the way for the country to become part of the Western defence alliance as war rages in Ukraine.
The Turkish parliament was the last among the 30 members of the alliance to ratify Finland's membership after Hungary's legislature approved a similar bill earlier this week.
President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier in March that Finland had secured Turkey's blessing after taking concrete steps to keep promises to crack down on groups seen by Ankara as terrorists, and to free up defence exports.
Finland and Sweden asked to join NATO last year in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the process has been held up by Turkey and Hungary. The parliaments of all NATO members must ratify newcomers.
Key developments from Thursday, March 30:
A US reporter for The Wall Street Journal newspaper was detained in Russia for espionage, Russian news agencies reported Thursday, citing the FSB security service. Evan Gershkovich is "suspected of spying in the interests of the American government" and of collecting information "on an enterprise of the Russian military-industrial complex", Russian news agencies reported. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the charges "ridiculous" and said that "the targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable". Gershkovich pleaded not guilty to the espionage charges in a court appearance on Thursday afternoon. Moscow's Lefortovo district court then ordered that he be held in pre-trial detention until May 29.
Europe's security has come under threat amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Britain's King Charles III told German MPs, adding, however, that "we can draw courage from our unity".
At least six Russian missiles hit the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv late on Thursday night, and officials are gathering details about damage and casualties, regional governor Oleh Sinegubov said.
>> Read our live blog for all of yesterday's developments as they unfolded.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)
Originally published on France24