Russia-Ukraine War: More than 870,000 people returned to Ukraine; hundreds of rape cases in areas previously occupied by Russian troops

News Desk: Russian troops aimed to take control of the city of Mariupol on Tuesday, part of an anticipated massive onslaught across eastern Ukraine, as defending forces tried desperately to hold them back. Russia is believed to be trying to connect occupied Crimea with Moscow-backed separatist territories Donetsk and Lugansk in Donbas, and has laid siege to the strategically located city, once home to more than 400,000 people.

Ukraine’s border force said Tuesday that more than 870,000 people who fled abroad since the start of the war have returned to the country, including a growing number of women and children.

Spokesman Andriy Demchenko said that currently 25,000 to 30,000 Ukrainians are returning each day.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said investigators had received reports of “hundreds of cases of rape” in areas previously occupied by Russian troops, including sexual assaults of small children.

Russian troops have been accused of widespread atrocities across the country, particularly in areas around Kyiv from which they have now withdrawn. Moscow denies the allegations.