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Hundreds of dogs found starved to death in Ukrainian shelter taken by Russian troops

Hundreds of dogs found starved to death in Ukrainian shelter taken by Russian troops
Nearly 500 dogs remained locked in cages at the animal shelter since Russia’s invasion began on 24 February

More than 300 dogs reportedly died at a single animal shelter in Ukraine’s Borodyanka after remaining locked in their cages since the Russian invasion began on 24 February.

Charity organisation UAnimals said 485 dogs had been locked in their cages until 1 April because volunteers could not return to the shelter due to the ongoing fighting.

When the volunteers finally managed to return to the shelter on 1 April, they found just 150 of the 485 dogs alive, while the remaining had died, reported CBS News.

Oleksandra Matviichuk, lawyer and head of Ukraine nonprofit Centre for Civil Liberties, tweeted a video in which the carcasses of dogs piled up on the floor could be seen.

“I have no words. Russians even killed dozens of dogs in Kyiv region. WHY??” she tweeted.

A female volunteer who filmed the video narrates the ordeal of the dogs through tears, according to CBS.

The Independent could not verify the authenticity of the video.

Twenty-seven of the surviving dogs who were in a critical condition have been transferred to private clinics for treatment, UAnimals said.

The charity is offering 50,000 hryvnias (£1293) as a reward for anyone willing and able to take the others.

Some of the surviving dogs have also been picked by the charity themselves.

In another video on social media posted by Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko, dogs can be seen barking at volunteers as they move around the bodies of some of the deceased animals.

As Ukraine has been retaken control over several areas around the Kyiv region, troops have found a trail of destruction left behind by retreating Russian forces.

Hundreds of bodies have been discovered, some in mass graves and others left rotting in bags, since Vladimir Putin’s troops withdrew from Bucha.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky has described the scenes in Bucha as “genocide” and accused Russia of war crimes.

Russia has however dismissed the accusation as “false allegations.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.