KYIV (Reuters) - Ukrainian police said on Saturday they had found the bodies of three civilian men in the Bucha district north of Kyiv, bound and in some cases gagged, with several gunshot wounds that police said indicated they had been tortured.
Kyiv says more than 1,000 bodies have been discovered in or around Bucha, where it alleges systematic abuse by Russian forces who occupied the area for several weeks in an abortive attempt to seize the capital.
Moscow rejects the allegation.
In a video posted on YouTube, Kyiv regional police chief Andriy Nebytov said bullet wounds in the men's extremities showed they had been tortured, adding: "Finally, each of the men was shot in the ear".
The video also contained images purporting to show the grave and the bloodied bodies, with faces blurred out.
Russia's defence ministry did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment on Nebytov's account.
Reuters could not independently verify the information he gave.
Nebytov said the men were found in shallow graves in woods near the village of Myrotske, close to what had been Russian military positions, blindfolded and with their hands tied, and that some were gagged. The men's clothes showed they were civilians, he said, adding their identities were not known as their faces had been disfigured by torture.
Nebytov said forensic laboratories had now examined a total of 1,202 bodies of civilians believed to have been killed by Russian occupiers in the Kyiv region.
Reuters has not been able to verify the number of people found dead in Bucha or the circumstances of their deaths.
Moscow has rejected allegations by Ukraine and Western nations of war crimes, and has denied targeting civilians in what the Kremlin calls a "special military operation" to demilitarise its neighbour.
It has called allegations that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha a "monstrous forgery" aimed at denigrating the Russian army.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Frances Kerry)