Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has delivered an impassioned address after the destruction of the city of Bucha, saying: “I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the dead.”
In a video message posted to social media on Sunday night, Mr Zelensky said that Russia’s public image is now one of torture and killing. “Your culture and human appearance perished together,” he said.
The killings in Bucha were discovered after Russian troops were forced to retreat from the outskirts of Kyiv. Victims were left lying dead on the streets were they fell and there were reports that some bodies had been booby trapped.
Many of those dead had their hands bound and had been shot in the head or chest. Ukrainian prosecutors investigating possible war crimes by Russia said they had found 410 bodies in towns near Kyiv.
President Zelensky accused the Russian army of “genocide” and called them “murderers, torturers, rapists looters – who call themselves the army”.
He continued: “Concentrated evil has come to our land…Why were ordinary civilians in an ordinary peaceful city tortured to death? Why were women strangled after their earrings were ripped out of their ears?
“How could women be raped and killed in front of children? How could their corpses be desecrated even after death?
“What did the Ukrainian city of Bucha do to your Russia?”
He went on to appeal to Russia mothers, asking them how they could not be aware of what was “inside your children”. He described the Russian soldiers as having “no soul, no heart”, adding: “They killed deliberately and with pleasure.”
“Your culture and human appearance perished together,” Mr Zelensky said.
I have promised that everyone who committed these crimes on the Ukrainian people will be named in a special “Book of Torturers” and would be found and punished.
Mr Zelensky singled out former German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy, and invited them to Bucha to witness the “war crimes” that their “policy of concessions towards Russia” had led to.
Satellite images from a private US company Maxar revealed a 45-foot-long trench in Bucha where mass graves were found.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.