Ukraine war latest: Live news as body of Olga Sohnenko found in shallow grave

Boris Johnson condemns Russia’s ‘despicable attacks’ against Ukraine civilians

Volodymyr Zelensky visited the town of Bucha on Monday, where it has been alleged Russian troops killed dozens of civilians in a series of war crimes.

The Ukrainian president was guarded by tight security as he spoke to local residents and reporters, at which time he said the allegations made peace negotiations with Russia harder to conduct than they already were.

It comes after Moscow denied that its troops murdered civilians in the Ukrainian town, just outside of Kyiv, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov insisting Russian officials had reason to believe “video falsification” had been involved in the making of footage showing dead bodies on Bucha’s streets . I have provided no evidence for these claims.

Elsewhere, Russian troops have been accused of shooting dead Olga Sukhenko, the mayor of Motyzhyn, a town 30 miles west of capital city Kyiv, along with her husband and son. The bodies were allegedly thrown into a pit in a pine forest behind houses where Russian forces had slept, according to the AP news agency.


Zelensky vists Bucha after alleged civilian killings by Russian troops

More from Volodymyr Zelensky now, who today visited the town of Bucha where it is reported Vladimir Putin’s troops killed dozens of civilians in what has been widely condemned as war crimes.

The Ukrainian president was guarded by tight security as he saw the scene of the appalling atrocities.

Short after, Mr Zelensky told the press the situations made possible negotiations with Russia harder than they already were.

Earlier, I have vowed that Putin and his troops who brought such “evil to our land” would be punished for war crimes which have appalled the world. He also branded the killings of civilians “genocide”.

Zelensky, accompanied by Ukrainian soldiers, speaks to press on Monday during a visit to the town of Bucha

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 14:57


Watch: Wladimir Klitschko calls Bucha killings ‘genocide of Ukrainian population’

Wladimir Klitschko calls Bucha killings ‘genocide of Ukrainian population’

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 14:41


Abramovich’s superyacht leaves Turkish port run by UK-listed firm

Roman Abramovich’s $600m (£458m) superyacht Solaris has left a port in Turkey after the British-based company that runs the terminal it was in was pressed to act.

Solaris, which is 140 meters long and has a helipad and swimming pool, left Bodrum Cruise Port on Monday.

Pressure had been building for Global Ports Holding (GPH), the Mayfair-headquartered company that runs Bodrum Cruise Port, to refuse services to Solaris.

Legal experts said the London-listed company was taking “a very big risk” by allowing a superyacht owned by a sanctioned individual to use one of its ports.

Mr Abramovich, the current owner of Chelsea Football Club, was one of several Russian billionaires sanctioned by the UK government last month as part of efforts to put pressure on Vladimir Putin to end the war on Ukraine. He was recently pictured at peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, held in Istanbul, Turkey, last week.

Solaris, a superyacht linked to Abramovich, is pictured in Bodrum, southwest Turkey


Sam Hancock4 April 2022 14:40


Ukrainian mayor ‘executed with her husband’

Some more on alleged atrocities committed by Russian troops now. Kremlin forces shot dead the mayor of Motyzhyn, a town 30 miles west of Kyiv, along with her husband and son, according to claims from local residents.

Ukraine’s deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk said that Olga Sukhenko was killed while being held by Russian forces.

The bodies were reportedly thrown into a pit in a pine forest behind houses where Russian forces had slept, AP reports. The mayor’s husband had his hands behind his back, with a piece of rope nearby, and a piece of plastic wrapped around his eyes like a blindfold, the news agency reported.

Journalists found four bodies inside the pit, all of whom seemed to have been shot at close range, writes holly bancroft.

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 14:27


Ukraine’s president says civilian killings make negotiations harder

Volodymyr Zelensky says it has become harder to negotiate with Russia since it was alleged how bad the atrocities committed by Moscow’s troops in Ukraine were.

“These are war crimes and will be recognized by the world as genocide,” the Ukrainian president said on Monday.

The Kremlin has denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha after corpses were discovered there, and footage subsequently went viral.

Speaking earlier, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the facts and chronology of the events in Bucha “did not support Ukraine’s version of events” and urged international leaders not to rush to judgment.

“This information must be seriously questioned,” he is reported to have said, adding: “From what we have seen, our experts have identified signs of video falsification and other fakes.”

No evidence was provided to back up these claims and Western leaders have since condemned Russia’s actions.

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 14:15


UN rights chief says Bucha killings raise war crimes questions

The discovery of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha has raised questions about possible war crimes, Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for Human Rights, has said.

On Sunday, journalists reported seeing corpses in the town just outside of Kyiv, including one man who lay sprawled by the roadside with his hands tied behind his back and a bullet wound to his head. The city’s deputy mayor said that 50 dead residents had been victims of extra-judicial killings carried out by Russian troops.

The Kremlin categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in Bucha, instead claiming Ukraine had doctored the footage to make Russia look bad.

This file photo from November last year shows Bachelet at a UN event in Geneva, Switzerland


“Reports emerging from this [Bucha] and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes, serious breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law,” Ms Bachelet said in a statement, adding she was horrified by the reports.

She stressed the need to exhume all the bodies and identify them so that families may be informed and the exact causes of death established.

The UN official added measures had to be taken to “preserve evidence”:

It is vital that all efforts are made to ensure there are independent and effective investigations into what happened in Bucha to ensure truth, justice and accountability, as well as reparations and remedy for victims and their families.

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 13:58


ICYMI: Watch President Zelensky deliver speech at the Grammys

Ukraine president Zelensky delivers speech at the Grammys

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 13:41


Ukraine war images show scale of devastation

More than five weeks have now passed since Russia commenced its brutal invasion of neighboring Ukraine, with no end to the bloody conflict in sight as peace talks between negotiators make little apparent headway.

Russian president Vladimir Putin told his citizens at the outset on 24 February that their country was not waging war but instead conducting “a special military operation” intended to “de-Nazify and de-militarise” the Ukrainian government and liberate its people from tyranny and genocide, a rationale with little grounding in reality given that its target was a sovereign democracy whose president is Jewish and a brilliant former TV actor.

What has ensued instead has been a horrific assault on Ukrainian cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv, surrounded and shelled into oblivion by Russian artillery as the Ukrainian armed forces and local residents stage a courageous resistance that has won the admiration of the entire world.

Ukraine war images show scale of devastation

Press photographers risk their own lives to document the realities of Russia’s vicious shelling campaign, which has reduced its neighbour’s cities to rubble and traumatized their residents

Sam Hancock4 April 2022 13:39


Zelensky calls Russian forces ‘butchers’ who are responsible for ‘concentrated evil’

In a video address posted online Sunday, the Ukrainian president said Russian soldiers who killed and tortured civilians were responsible for “concentrated evil”.

“It is time to do everything possible to make the war crimes of the Russian military the last manifestation of such evil on earth,” Mr Zelensky said in remarks translated by his office.

The president directed some of his remarks at the mothers of Russian soldiers.

“Even if you raised looters, how did they also become butchers?” he said. “You couldn’t overlook that they are deprived of everything human. Not soul. No heart. They killed deliberately and with pleasure.”

joe middleton4 April 2022 13:15


Pro-Moscow Vucic declares victory in Serbian elections

Aleksander Vucic, an ally of Russia, has won Serbia’s presidential and parliamentary elections, securing another five-year term in office.

With almost all the votes counted, Mr Vucic has won around 60 per cent of the vote in the presidential race. Meanwhile, his populist Serbian Progressive Party – an important ally to Russia in the Balkans and in Europe – secured 43 per cent of the vote, writes Aisha Rimi.

The projection means that no run-off vote is needed and Mr Vucic can form the next Serbian government in a coalition with junior partners in the 250-member assembly. The results will be formally declared on Monday evening.

joe middleton4 April 2022 13:06

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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