Events mark 2 years since liberation of Ukraine's Bucha from Russian occupation

People in the Ukrainian town of Bucha attended events on Sunday to mark the second anniversary of its liberation from Russian occupation. Local authorities say 509 civilians, including 12 children, were killed there in the early days of the invasion of Ukraine.

Artists remembered the victims by playing music at a church, where many bodies had been found after Russian forces withdrew from the town located near the capital Kyiv. Visitors placed flowers at a monument that bears the names of those killed during the occupation.

A woman whose brother was murdered by Russian forces at the age of 34 said he went missing for 39 days after going out to buy water. She said he left behind two small children and that his family has not gotten over his death yet.

Trees were planted at a park set up along Yablunska Street, which came to be known as the "road of death" after the remains of 78 people were discovered there.

Relatives and others attached silver plaques carrying the names of victims to trees and offered prayers. The event was part of a program to furnish the park with the same number of saplings as the overall tally of those lost during the Russian occupation of Bucha.

Participants included officials from foreign countries as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other aid organizations that have been supporting efforts to reconstruct the town.

A man whose adult son was tortured to death by Russian forces likened them to a plague. He said the plague will spread all over the world if the international community fails to help Ukraine. The victim's 6-year-old daughter said she misses her father.