- Zelensky accused the Russian military of war crimes in an address to the Security Council.
- The head of NATO warns that Russia is regrouping its forces.
- The EU is proposing a ban on coal imports from Russia in new sanctions.
- The governor of Luhansk warns residents after the alleged Russian strike on a nitric acid storage tank.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian troops of horrific atrocities in Ukraine and told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that those responsible should be brought to justice immediately on charges of war crimes before a tribunal like the one set up in Nuremberg after World War II.
Zelensky, appearing in a video from Ukraine, told council members that civilians were shot in the back of the head after being tortured, blown up with grenades in their apartments and crushed to death by tanks while in cars.
“They cut off limbs, cut their throats. Women were raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were taken out only because their aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them,” he said, recounting what he described as the most the heinous atrocities after World War II.
An elderly woman prepares lunch on Monday in the basement of a building in Bucha. (Rodrigo Abd / Associated Press)
Comparing the actions of the troops to those of the Islamic State, Zelensky said: “The Russian military and those who gave them orders must be brought to justice immediately in Ukraine.”
“Anyone who has given criminal orders and carried them out by killing our people will face a tribunal that should be similar to the tribunals in Nuremberg,” he said.
In the last few days, ominous images of what appeared to be civilian massacres by Russian forces on the outskirts of Kyiv before withdrawing from the capital have sparked global outrage and prompted Western nations to expel dozens more Moscow diplomats and propose additional sanctions. including a ban on coal imports from Russia.
A Ukrainian soldier walks with children passing destroyed cars in Bucha on Monday. (Rodrigo Abd / Associated Press)
Zelenski stressed that Bucha is only one place and that there are others with similar horrors.
The Kremlin condemned the images as fake and suggested that the scenes were staged by Ukrainians. But high-resolution satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies showed that many of the bodies had been lying in the open for weeks, while Russian forces were in the city.
More “atrocities” may come to light: the head of NATO
Meanwhile, the NATO chief warned that Russia was regrouping its forces to deploy them in eastern and southern Ukraine as a “decisive phase of the war” and said more “atrocities” could emerge as Russian troops continued to retreat north. .
“When and if they withdraw their troops and Ukrainian troops take power, I fear they will see more mass graves, more atrocities and more examples of war crimes,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
WATCH The Russians are regrouping to take over the entire Donbass, says Stoltenberg:
The Russians are regrouping to take over the entire Donbass, the NATO chief said
After failing to capture key cities in northern Ukraine, the Russians are now regrouping for a concentrated offensive to take control of the entire Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. 02:00
Ukrainian authorities said the bodies of at least 410 civilians had been found in towns around Kyiv that had been captured by Russian forces, and that a “torture chamber” had been found in Bucha.
Zelenski told the Security Council that there was “not a single crime” that Russian troops had not committed in Bucha.
“The Russian military has been searching for and deliberately killing anyone who serves our country. They shot and killed women outside their homes when they simply tried to call someone alive. “They killed whole families, adults and children and tried to burn the bodies,” he said. “They used tanks to crush civilians” just for their pleasure, “he said.
On Tuesday, police and other investigators strolled the quiet streets of Bucha, taking notes on the bodies residents showed them. Survivors hiding in their homes during the month-long Russian occupation of the city, many over middle-aged, wandered past charred tanks and jagged windows with plastic bags of food and other humanitarian aid. Red Cross officials inspected intact homes.
WATCH Zelenski visits the battered Bucha:
Zelenski visits the battered Bucha, fearing massacres of civilians
WARNING: This video contains graphics Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky toured the massacre left by Russian troops in the northern Kiev suburb of Bucha on Monday. There are growing fears that the deaths and devastation seen in Bucha are just a glimpse into the alleged atrocities committed by Russia in the war. 3:40
Journalists from the Associated Press in Bucha counted dozens of corpses in civilian clothes. Many appear to have been shot at close range, and some have had their hands tied or their flesh burned. There were bodies wrapped in plastic in a mass grave in the churchyard.
The AP and the PBS Frontline series have jointly investigated at least 90 incidents during the war that appear to violate international humanitarian law. The War Crimes Watch Ukraine project includes details of apparent targeted attacks, as well as the indiscriminate destruction of civilian buildings and infrastructure.
Millions have fled their homes in Ukraine
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie has promised that “these terrorist acts will not go unpunished,” and US President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin should be tried for war crimes.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Tuesday that the Bucha photos reveal “a deliberate campaign to kill, torture, rape and commit atrocities.” He told reporters that the reports were “more than credible” and that the United States and other countries would seek to hold those responsible accountable.
People arrive at Lviv Central Station from Zaporizhia on Tuesday. More than four million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, and millions more have been internally displaced. (Joe Redl / Getty Images)
“Only non-humans are capable of that,” said Angelika Chernomor, a refugee from Kyiv who moved to Poland with her two children and who had seen the Bucha photos. “Even if people live under a totalitarian regime, they must retain feelings, dignity, but they do not.
Chernomor is among more than four million Ukrainians who fled the country after the February 24 invasion. More than seven million people have been displaced in Ukraine, according to the UN Migration Agency.
Russia has denied similar allegations against its forces in the past, accusing its enemies of falsifying photos and videos and using so-called crises.
WATCH Russia rejects photos of the dead in Bucha as fake:
Russia says the photos of the dead Ukrainians in Bucha are fake
Journalist Stuart Smith, who reports under restrictions from Moscow, says Russia’s official position on the video of the dead in Bucha, Ukraine, is that it was manipulated and possibly created by troll factories and public relations agencies to discredit Russia. . 2:17
As Western leaders condemned the killings in Bucha, Italy, Spain and Denmark expelled dozens of Russian diplomats on Tuesday after actions by Germany and France. Hundreds of Russian diplomats have been sent home since the invasion began, many accused of being spies.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the expulsions “short-sighted” a measure that would complicate communication during the crisis, and warned that they would be met with “reciprocal steps”.
More sanctions have been proposed against Russia
In another demonstration of support, the European Union’s executive proposed a ban on coal imports from Russia, which would be the bloc’s first sanctions aimed at the country’s lucrative energy industry over the war.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who plans to travel to Kyiv to meet with Zelensky this week, linked the ban on coal imports worth 4 billion euros ($ 5.4 billion Cdn) a year to ” heinous crimes ”around Kyiv.
The 27-member EU has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24th and has already passed four rounds of sanctions, but Ukrainian officials have asked for more.
People remain in the yard while the smoke rises in the background after the shooting in Odessa on Sunday. (Petros Janakouris / Associated Press)
Just hours before the latest proposal was announced, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that in order to prevent a “new Buchas”, the West must impose the “mother of all sanctions” on Russian oil and gas. “Fifteen months of seatbelts cost thousands of lives saved,” he said.
But Western nations are divided over how far to go. Some are calling for a boycott of Russian oil and gas imports, while Germany and others fear such a move could plunge the continent into a severe economic crisis.
Western weapons have allowed Ukraine to put up tougher than expected resistance to Russia’s superior firepower. This resistance has stopped Russian forces from capturing the capital and their troops are now withdrawing from areas around Kyiv.
WATCH Biden says Putin should be tried for war crimes:
World leaders have condemned Russia for allegedly killing civilians in Bucha
Amid condemnation of world leaders, US President Joe Biden did not back down, calling for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the deaths of civilians in Bucha. Despite growing evidence, it is still unclear whether Putin can be tried at all. 1:49
But Western and Ukrainian officials say Russia is …