Pictures show the grave site with an approximately 45-foot long trench in the southwestern section of the area near the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints in Bucha
Image: via REUTERS)
Chilling satellite images show mass graves in a Ukrainian town as outrage spreads over brutal deaths of civilians.
Pictures show the grave site with an approximately 45-foot long trench in the southwestern section of the area near the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints in Bucha.
Global outrage spread on Monday over civilian deaths in Ukraine including evidence of bound bodies shot at close range and a mass grave found in areas retaken from Russian troops, as artillery bombarded the country’s south and east.
Taras Shapravskyi, deputy mayor of Bucha, a town around 40km northwest of Kyiv, said 50 of some 300 bodies found after the Kremlin’s forces withdrew late last week were the victims of extra-judicial killings carried out by Russian troops.
Reuters reporters saw one man sprawled by the roadside, his hands tied behind his back and a bullet wound to his head, though the agency could not independently verify those figures or who was responsible for the killings.
Ukrainian authorities were investigating possible war crimes as Moscow said killings were “staged” to sully Russia’s name.
Pictures of the destruction and apparent killings of civilians sparked shock and condemnation and looked set to galvanize the United States and Europe into fresh sanctions against Moscow.
But it was not clear how quickly a new package could come together or if it would include Russian energy exports.
The atrocities were also set to overshadow peace talks between Russia and Ukraine due to restart by video link on Monday.
Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would be held accountable for the civilian killings, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said others also shared the blame.
“I think all the military commanders, everyone who gave instructions and orders should be punished,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation” news program.
Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the images as “a punch in the gut,” while United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation.
“Putin and his supporters will feel the consequences,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, adding that Western allies would
agree on further sanctions in the coming days.
Germany’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said the European Union must discuss banning the import of Russian gas –
a departure from Berlin’s prior resistance to that idea.
French President Emmanuel Macron said there were very “clear clues pointing to war crimes” by Russian forces and that new
sanctions were needed, and Japan said it would consult with allies on that issue.
Macron said new sanctions should include oil and coal.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The UN Security Council will discuss Ukraine on Tuesday and will not meet on Monday as requested by Russia, said Britain’s mission to the United Nations, which holds the presidency of the 15-member council for April.
Russia had requested the Security Council convene on Monday to discuss what it called a “provocation by Ukrainian radicals”
in Bucha after Kyiv’s accusations.
Russia has previously denied targeting civilians and has rejected allegations of war crimes in what it calls a “special military operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” Ukraine. Ukraine says it was invaded without provocation.
Human Rights Watch said it had documented “several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations” in the Ukrainian regions of Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv.
Ukraine’s foreign minister called on the International Criminal Court to collect evidence of what he called Russian war
The foreign ministers of France and Britain said their countries would support any such probe.
However, legal experts say a prosecution of Putin or other Russian leaders would face high hurdles and could take years.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.